What does Vermont need to do to ensure a prosperous future? Turns out the list of possible answers to that question is a long one.
This morning, our Silver & Platinum Members had the opportunity to attend our Breakfast with the Board event and take a in depth look at what the work of the Vermont Futures Project means for Burlington. The Vermont Futures Project has been working to establish an “Economic Dashboard” with key indicators to show how our state is fairing across various sectors, such as workforce, demographics, infrastructure, quality of place, and more.
While the state is doing relatively well in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship, and quality of place, the current numbers do not bode so well for workforce & talent (our population is the second oldest in the country, and in the next 20 years a majority of our current workers will retire), our Demographics (Median household income is ranked 14th nationally), and our tax base growth has been relatively flat, leaving a lack of funding for infrastructure & investment.
Event attendees were tasked with brainstorming ideas for how Burlington can tackle the areas that are in need of growth. Despite an early morning (7:30 am!) start, the dialogue quickly grew lively and groups exchanged ideas that ranged from setting up an alumni recruitment program to bring VT grads back to their home state, to setting up a communications campaign with resources and success stories of those who have moved to Vermont and found a home here that are thriving in. The need for housing and a lower cost of living was a target that generated a lot of conversation, and inspired ideas that included simplifying the permitting process and asking each city and town to set their own annual goal for new units and track progress with a “goal thermometer”.
The BBA will take the list of ideas generated back to the Board of Directors at this Fall’s strategic planning session, and will be seeking to work with the VT Futures Project on moving forward with actionable initiatives that can help Burlington and Vermont achieve a prosperous future.