October 11, 2017
RE: Rutland Economic Development Corporation Annual Report (FY2017)
To the Residents, Businesses, and Communities of Rutland County:
We would like to thank you, our partners, for your continued work advancing our region. With your help, together our efforts this year have furthered the major strategic shifts established for REDC in 2016, which were premised on the fact that Rutland County’s future business growth will likely come from the success and expansion of existing small businesses and entrepreneurs. Further developed this year, the overarching theme of our strategic effort is to increase Rutland County’s population, specifically early- and mid-career professionals and skilled workers, to counter the current and projected trend of regional population decline and the resulting workforce challenges.
Summary of Strategic Direction:
- Focus on population growth.
- Leverage the presence of colleges and universities as economic drivers.
- Support the growth of current businesses and industries in the Rutland Region.
Focus on population growth.
- Co-created the Regional Marketing Initiative alongside the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce and area partners, raising $200,000 from regional businesses and municipalities to produce a dynamic, long-term campaign focused on promoting our regional assets and opportunities; due to be rolled out in FY2018.
- Supported Rutland Young Professionals workforce attraction and retention programs.
- Continued to work with area developers and experts to establish residential housing goals and downtown development opportunities.
- Supported the third annual Young Professionals Summit of Vermont, a statewide conference on Vermont’s future, held in Rutland.
- Emphasized Rutland County as a place for career opportunities through rutlandeconomy.com/careers.
Leverage the presence of colleges and universities as economic drivers.
- Extended partnership with Castleton University to leverage the expertise and talent represented by the University and its students.
- Streamlined and strengthened Castleton University experiential learning efforts by providing students with opportunities to transition quickly from the classroom to area businesses for internships and careers, creating opportunities for both students and the business community.
- Began collaborative efforts to develop internship/work experience processes with area colleges and universities and the Talent Pipeline Management Project.
- Educated college and high school students (locally and around the state) about local leadership and job opportunities.
Support growth of current businesses and industries in the Rutland Region.
- Lending capital committed to Rutland-area businesses: $280,000.
- Grant money secured for Rutland-area businesses: $61,500.
- Secured $750,000 in lending capital available to Rutland County businesses unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing.
- Monitored commercial real estate inventory and trends to match businesses with the best properties available for their needs, and marketing commercial properties through rutlandeconomy.com/property.
- Connected regional businesses with local, state, and federal resources they need to develop, and interfaced with government agencies to advocate on their behalf.
- Supported the launch and continued growth of The MINT – Rutland’s Makerspace with strategic planning, a $50,000 capital grant, and three years’ free rent of 8,000 sq. ft. of space in REDC’s building on Quality Lane in Rutland Town.
- Through REDC’s Entrepreneurship Committee, began establishing a business development pipeline designed to connect emerging businesses with expertise and technical assistance to support sustainable success.
- Strengthened the newly revived joint REDC-Chamber Policy Committee, defining regional policy objectives designed to fortify our regional business growth and engaged with policy makers and administrators to further these objectives.
- Hosted free business advising and technical assistance through the Vermont Small Business Development Center and Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center.
At REDC, we are 100% focused on making the Rutland region the most collaborative, innovative, and friendly place in Vermont to live, work, play and grow a business. With your support, and the support of all our members and partners, we are enabled to strive ever further towards our vision:
The greater Rutland region is recognized as the most collaborative, innovative and friendly place in Vermont to live, work, play and grow a business.
Lyle Jepson, Executive Director
email@example.com or (802) 773-9147