The region’s loss of population has long-term negative impacts on the health of our communities, employers, and economy. Immigration is critical to offsetting the region’s dwindling workforce.
Our goal is to develop a “New Vermonter” community network that ensures immigrants (and all workers) have what they need to live, thrive, and stay here.
By 2030, Southern Vermont has welcomed approximately 1,000 immigrants.
Improved regional vitality attracts roughly 5,000 additional diverse in-migrants.
"Creating a more welcoming and inclusive economy has been a focus of the BDCC for years, and the Working Communities initiative takes a new approach to community and economic development that we're excited to be the backbone for."
Adam Grinold, BDCC Executive Director
Our mission is to make the Windham County region more welcoming, equitable, and inclusive for BIPOC community members, immigrants, first- and second-generation Americans, asylum-seekers, and foreign-born workers.
To do this, we must create a robust, inclusive, scalable, and sustainable system of support that addresses barriers such as employment, housing, legal services, and transportation.
Asylum-seeker and refugee housing options should extend beyond host families – including partnerships with landlords and underutilized campuses.
The legal system must be made more accessible by transitioning from an ad hoc approach to a dedicated, sustained in-region capacity.
Employers need support in recruiting immigrants, while immigrants need support in job preparation, linguistic barriers, and access.
Immigrants need reliable, accessible, and affordable transportation services for commuting to jobs, medical care, and more.
The New Vermonter network is made up of community partners with expertise in key areas necessary to support immigration. We share a vision of creating a Welcoming Community by helping immigrants to thrive here, and enriching our region through increased cultural diversity.
“Our company mission mirrors the values and goals of this initiative. We are well-versed in connecting new residents to essential life functions – jobs, medical care, education, and quality of life trips – since we have been doing this successfully for over 20 years.”
Randy Schoonmaker, Southeast Vermont Transit (SEVT), CEO
Catch up on regional meetings, news coverage, important announcements, and Working Communities celebrations. Scroll below.
Ell Class schedule in Southern Vermont
Interested in volunteering to support New Vermonters or joining the Welcoming Communities team? Email Alex Beck, BDCC Welcoming Communities Manager.
Want to support refugees or asylum seekers in our region? Consider donating to ECDC Multicultural Community Center or CASP.
Interested in hiring New Vermonters as employees for your business or organization? Contact BDCC to learn how to be a welcoming workplace.