Event explores local economy

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DOVER — The 3rd Annual Southern Vermont Economy Summit will take place Thursday, May 23, at the Grand Summit Lodge at Mount Snow. Registration is now open at www.SoVermontSummit.com.

The perennial event's focus is to connect economic development practitioners, private and public sector employers, investors, and all levels of government across southern Vermont's Bennington and Windham counties. Speakers and sessions for the day long event are chosen and structured in order to share knowledge and best practices relevant for increasing capacity and collaboration in the region. This year's theme is "Investing in Southern Vermont's Future".

The 2019 Summit speakers and sessions will focus on strategies for developing the regional economy, from financing business growth and infrastructure, to strategic investments in workforce and community development. Sessions highlighting workforce strategies for today and the future, town and village development fundamentals, building community resilience, and financing community projects will complement the "Regional Economics 201" session which offers a deeper dive into Southern Vermont's economic data. Trade experts will convene for a session on opportunities and impacts of the current trade environment on this region's businesses.

The day also features a celebration of this year's local Emerging Leaders, completion of the Windham and Bennington County 5-year 2019 Southern Vermont Zone Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and announcement of the 2019 Vital Projects.

The Summit is an annual event which grew out of the establishment of the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone, a special region encompassing Windham and Bennington Counties (plus the Town of Weston), authorized by the Vermont Legislature in May 2015. A Study commissioned at that same time called for the creation of a Southern Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The 2019 Southern Vermont Zone CEDS was completed early in 2019.

The Summit is hosted by Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies, Bennington County Regional Commission, Bennington County Industrial Corporation, and Bennington's Regional Economic Development Group. The 2019 lead sponsors are Brattleboro Savings and Loan and the Bank of Bennington. Other major sponsors include: USDA Rural Development, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, TPW Real Estate, Stevens & Associates, Green Mountain Power, Vermont Electrical Power Company (VELCO), Marlboro College, The Richards Group, and Edward Jones. Media sponsors include New England Newspapers and Front Porch Forum.

For more information about the summit, a link to registration, and the complete agenda, visit www.SoVermontSummit.com, or contact Sarah Lang at slang@brattleborodevelopment.com.

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