In 2006, the Legislature established the Commission on the Future of Economic Development (CFED). Made up of leaders in the private sector and government, CFED was charged with identifying those elements that advance or impede economic development. It was also asked to develop goals believed to be most critical to Vermont’s future prosperity and vitality.
From this work, the Committee identified four principal goals to establish economic viability, security and opportunity for all. These were:
1. Develop a highly-skilled multi-generational workforce
2. Invest in digital, physical and human infrastructure
3. Take advantage of our small scale to create nimble, efficient and effective government and regulation
4. Leverage our brand and scale: our rural character, reputation for environmental quality, and entrepreneurial spirit.
“Bold and disciplined action is needed to accomplish these goals,” the report stated. “The legislature, administration, and myriad of economic and community partners must work together with unerring discipline to focus our policies, regulations, programs and incentives on the critical interconnection between Vermont’s assets, our collective values, our capabilities, and the opportunities which will increase state revenues and the prosperity of all Vermonters.” http://www.snellingcenter.org/cfed
This session, the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development has been working on a bill to develop near-term and long-term economic strategies guided by the four CFED goals. Near-term strategies focus on stakeholder collaboration for effective use of the stimulus monies. An example of this would be writing unified proposals for competitive grants. Long-term strategies set a statewide framework for collectively realizing sustainable economic prosperity. An example here would be the requirement that the legislative and executive branches align new programs and initiatives with the four CFED goals.
The bill includes legislation that would advance development or remove impediments in a variety of areas. A list of these is as follows:
• Green Economy Initiatives
• Workforce development
• Housing incentive program
• Inventor and entrepreneur assistance
• Licensed lender exception
• Energy efficiency
• Forestry and biomass
• Motion picture business
• Tourism infusion: excess meals and rooms revenues
• Federal funds and smart grid
• Digital business
• Small business/technology loan program
• Microbusiness and entrepreneurship
If you would like me to email a copy of the 68-page bill or the 6-page description of this bill, you can contact me at: KLWebb22@mac.com. 985-2789.
Please join Joan Lenes and me on Tuesday mornings from 7:30-8:30 am at Brueggers and the 4th Monday (3/23) at Village Wine and Coffee.