Windham Towns Asked To Support Economic Development Effort

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Town meeting voters in six Windham County towns will be asked to support a regionwide effort to boost the economy.

The region has seen declining wages, job opportunities and population. The situation is expected to worsen with the eventual closing of Vermont Yankee and the loss of many high-paying jobs.

Laura Sibilia coordinates Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies.

She says the group hopes to engage more than 20 towns in efforts to expand the economy and attract and train workers.

"In the Windham region, the size and quality of the work force is a real challenge for employers in terms of being able to grow, which is of course, a drag on the economy," Sibilia said.

The group is also working on a comprehensive economic development strategy plan for the region.

Sibilia says a federally approved strategy will help the region prioritize projects — and qualify for economic development grants and programs.

The town of Brattleboro has pledged $50,000 if an equivalent amount can be raised in neighboring towns.

This year voters in Vernon Marlboro, Bellows Falls, Newfane, Dover, and Wilmington are being asked to help reach that goal.

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