County recovery forums to be held across the state

MONTPELIER, Vt. – On July 9, the Local Support and Community Action Team of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force will launch a series of virtual COVID-19 recovery visits to be held in each county across the state over the next several months.

The action team was convened in mid-April as part of the Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force and charged by Gov. Scott with identifying and replicating regional and community recovery initiatives and uncovering gaps in recovery efforts to ensure equitable distribution of resources, especially in rural areas and underserved populations.

Virtual forums will bring together community members and business and organizational leaders from across the region to discuss challenges and share ideas for community response and equitable economic recovery, and connect to others working to respond and recover. The forums will encourage and support local and regional efforts, share promising practices and models between counties, promote equitable access to financial, social and structural recovery, and aid communities in accessing the tools and resources to support their recovery work.

Participants will join a brief opening session and then breakout into their choice of discussion topics chosen by a steering committee from each region. Topics for discussion could include Telecommunications, Business Support and Recovery, Education and Childcare, Building Community Unity, Addressing Racial Inequities, Developing Buy Local Campaigns, Housing, Food Access, and more. Recovery visiting teams of federal, state, regional, nonprofit, and business leaders and experts will attend each forum to share recovery strategies from across the state and ideas for resources and support.

Local forums will be held:

  • Windham County – July 23, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Rutland County – Aug. 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Windsor County – Oct. 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The Recovery Visit Forums are being coordinated and facilitated by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, in partnership with local and regional partners.

Paul Costello, executive director of VCRD and action team leader, says, “We all have a part and a responsibility in answering the pandemic and working toward economic recovery, and we know that creative solutions are being developed by local leaders throughout the state. The county forums are a starting point to share best practices, consider further needs, connect to resources, and gather ideas from each region to ensure that we are moving forward together…together we are Vermont strong.”

All are welcome and encouraged to join the forums. To learn more and to register in your county, visit www.vtrural.org/recovery or contact info@vtrural.org or 802-223-6091 with questions or for registration assistance. Registration will become available within two weeks of the forum date in each county.

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