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  • Who is behind SoVT Get on Board?
    Get on Board is a project of the Southern VT Economy Project, which is based at Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation. Now in its third cycle of operation, The Southern Vermont Economy Project (SVEP) provides webinars, small conferences, mini-summits, technical assistance and training to help build connections and local capacity to advance economic and community development projects across the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone (encompassing the greater Windham Region and Bennington County). SVEP is funded in part by the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative, as a program of BDCC & SeVEDS. SoVT Get on Board also has received support from the Vermont Community Foundation, and will be taught by state and regional partners including Vermont Council on Rural Development, the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and the Creative Discourse Group.
  • I already serve on a town committee – should I sign up for Get on Board?
    We can all use a no-nonsense refresher course on how our local government works, right? We think this course is great for people who are already involved, especially: If you feel like you are not being as effective as you want to be in your role and want to understand why. If you feel like you understand what you do in your role, but don’t really understand how it fits into other parts of your local government’s operation. If you want to take a look at what other types of community-led organizations or projects can accomplish alongside their local government, including non profits and ad hoc community groups. If you could benefit from a conversation about how to help foster more productive community dialogue. If you are looking to make connections with other folks interested in, or serving in, local leadership positions across our region.
  • I am completely new to this! But I'd like to get more involved in my community. Is Get on Board right for me?
    Yes, for so many reasons. For instance: Do you have a good idea that you'd like to see happen in your town? SoVT Get on Board can help you figure out how to engage others and move things forward. Also, this class will provide you with resources that cover the basics of participating in local government in your town (what is Town Meeting and why should I go? What does a Select Board do? What the heck are Robert’s Rules of Order?). We hope to make you feel comfortable participating in time for Town Meeting 2024! We’ll also cover other possible roles and ways you can be more active in your town both inside of, and outside of, government. Our conversations will also cover some ‘big-picture’ issues that will help you think about why community engagement matters and how to make it better and more inviting for everyone!
  • I am not sure I can make it to all the class sessions. Should I still sign up?
    We really want folks to be able to be engaged with this program, and hope that folks who sign up will be committed to attending every session. Having said that, we understand that ‘life happens!’ If you know ahead of time that you will miss a particular session, we encourage you to fill out the application. In the questions about needed accommodations, let us know your situation. We can work with you to see if there’s a reasonable workaround. (Likewise, if for some reason you get sick and have to miss a session, we will make every effort to get the materials to you and fill you in on what was discussed).
  • Why is there a fee for this course?
    The fee of $150 is actually pretty small compared to the actual cost per-person of running the program. The funding we have received from the Vermont Community Foundation, as well as a USDA grant that covers the operation of the Southern VT Economy Project, covers our staff time in creating and coordinating the program, as well as paying the expert presenters you will hear from. But we still need to cover other expenses that make the program better – like serving lunch, for example! By asking each participant to shoulder a little bit of the cost, we can use our other funding sources to support scholarships and other ways to make it possible for more people to attend (like childcare stipends or mileage where needed) If the $150 is stopping you for any reason, let us know! We would like to hear from you and are here to help make it affordable for you! You can also ask your town if they might sponsor you to attend. email: with any questions you might have about how we can help you attend.
  • Will there be any credential at the end of the course?
    Better than an official credential, this course is designed to set you in motion to be an effective community leader in your Southern VT town. Following the course, we are here to help you make connections in your own community, and find (or create) opportunities that fit your goals. So while you won’t get a piece of paper, we hope you’ll feel free to connect with the course leaders after the course ends, and stay connected to the other folks who took the course so you can support each other as local leaders!
  • Something else?
    If your question is not answered here, please reach out to the Southern VT Economy Project Manager, Meg Staloff, at
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