In June, 2014, Vermont became one of the few states in the nation to complete a statewide comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS). The Vermont 2020 CEDS was completed with immense help and input from stakeholders around the state and with the generous guidance and funding from the U.S. Economic Development Authority. The CEDS establishes strategies that can move us toward accomplishing those goals. The document also identifies the 12 target business sectors that have a strong likelihood of growing our economy and enhancing the quality of life for Vermonters. It suggests projects and initiatives that can help each action area and sector grow. It anticipates future events and identifies tactics that will help us build resiliency.
Attracting new businesses and expanding Vermont’s workforce…that’s always been an objective of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. In an effort to best accomplish these goals, DED has recently begun implementing its new Economic Development Marketing Plan, a strategic document that outlines specific marketing tactics to generate economic growth. Ideas include targeting national, trade and niche media outlets with finely honed pitches about Vermont businesses — some highly successful, some unexpected-for-Vermont, some cutting-edge — all interesting! Digital outreach campaigns will tout our quality of life, including our great schools and awesome outdoor recreation opportunities, and expanded partnerships with colleges and universities will help connect employers and employees. A new website will also act as a hub for inspiring stories, encouraging statistics and lots of links to useful information for businesses. All will be in an effort to support existing Vermont businesses, attract new businesses and expand Vermont’s workforce by attracting and retaining young people to the state. Early efforts to implement the full marketing plan are underway, and initial efforts have already generated excitement around the state.