Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott and Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) Federal Co-Chair Mark Scarano were in Newport Wednesday to announce that Scott will serve as the Commission’s first state co-chair. Created in 2008, NBRC is a federal-state partnership with a mission to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private-sector job creation throughout the northern counties of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Since its inception, the Commission has awarded just over $30 million, which has leveraged $87 million to support 155 grants across the four states.
In Vermont, it’s funded 44 projects in the amount of $7.8 million. Vermont's NBRC territory includes communities within Grand Isle, Franklin, Orleans, Essex, Caledonia, and Lamoille Counties. Vermont’s Congressional Delegation has been crucial to securing funding for the program.
“While the cities and towns across the Northern Border Region are unique, we face similar economic and social challenges,” said Scott. “We share forest-dependent communities in need of new opportunities, communities struggling through major changes in rural manufacturing and an outmigration of working-age Vermonters. The work of this Commission and these grants help foster growth in our Northern Border communities, which is so important to my Administration’s work to expand economic growth across the entire state.”
During the Commission’s January meeting in Hanover, New Hampshire, Scott was elected by representatives of the governors of Maine, New Hampshire and New York to serve as the Commission’s first state co-chair. Scott will work with the federal co-chair to set the Commission’s agenda and help the Commission hire an executive director and support staff.
"I am very pleased to be joined by Governor Scott in leading the NBRC. As the NBRC's first state co-chair, Governor Scott's background and passion for economic development is a perfect match for the NBRC's mission and we're lucky to have his leadership,” said Scarano. “It's been especially gratifying to work with the Governor's team of economic and community development professionals who have made job creation and worker retention a priority. With Governor Scott joining me at the helm, the NBRC federal-state partnership is off to a great start."
Representatives of the Vermont Brewers Association also showcased a recently released mobile application that turned the organization’s long-time brewery passport program into an interactive mobile app. The app was funded, in part, by a $46,000 NBRC grant last year. Kingdom Brewery owners Brian and Jenn Cook said nearly 70 percent of their visitors used the passport program.
Scott and Scarano also announced that the NBRC is seeking applications from public bodies, non-profit organizations, or Native American tribes for projects that will directly or indirectly result in job creation and positive economic impact. The application is available at www.nbrc.gov. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent by Friday, March 30, and applications are due Friday, May 11. The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development will hold an informational session for interested applicants on Thursday, March 15 from 1-3 p.m. at the Agency’s offices at 1 National Life Drive, 6th Floor, Montpelier, Vermont. Please contact Katie Corrigan at Katie.corrigan@Vermont.gov or 802-272-1420 for more information or special accommodations.