The Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone was created by the Legislature during the 2015 session. The Zone is comprised of the forty-four towns within the boundaries of the Windham Regional Commission and the Bennington Regional Commission. The legislation created a nine-person Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone Committee, which was charged with submitting a report on or before December 1, 2015, to the Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the House Committee on Commerce and Community Development, and the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.
The Southern Vermont Zone legislation was passed in May 2015.
Governor’s appointee: Wayne Granquist, Weston
Speaker appointee Bennington County – Michael Keane, Town of Bennington, Bennington
Speaker appointee Windham County – Lisa Sullivan, Bartleby’s Books, Wilmington
Senate appointee Bennington County – Dr. Mariko Silver, Bennington College, Bennington
Senate appointee Windham County – Tom Caine, Against the Grain, Brattleboro
Windham Regional Development Corporation – Adam Grinold, BDCC
Windham Regional Planning Commission – Chris Campany, WRC
Bennington Regional Development Corporation – Peter Odierna, BCIC
Bennington Regional Planning Commission – Bill Colvin, BCRC
Southern Vermont will be a place that attracts visitors and new residents who will be drawn by not only the beauty of our hills and valleys, but by the energy and excitement that comes from our dedication to building communities, businesses, careers and successful families and lives. We believe that a strong economy is a vital determinant of the quality of life in the region, essential to the household income security of all who live here.
The Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone designation does not come with any funding or organizational umbrella. Its purpose is to create urgency around the economic and workforce issues and struggles that the geographical area is experiencing. It has helped to foster collaborations across county and town lines.