New Americans contribute significantly to Chittenden County’s housing values, GDP, and job market according to a new report released by the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO). This report addresses the negative stereotypes surrounding immigrants, documenting the wide range of benefits provided by our New American neighbors.
Jan Demers, Executive Director of CVOEO says, “This document provides a much-needed resource for Chittenden counties’ nonprofits, local and state agencies, and for-profit businesses as we advocate for our new neighbors, forge new and strengthen existing partnerships, and reach out to funders and individual donors. Our community will be stronger for everyone.”
Produced for CVOEO by Alex Duchac, graduate of the Vermont Commons School and member of Vassar Class of ’21, this report will give the first detailed look at how immigrants impact Vermont’s largest county. Among the significant discoveries included in the report are that, since 2009, New Americans have increased home values by $25M, they have added over $712M to the GDP of Chittenden County, and they have saved more than 270 Vermont manufacturing jobs. The complete report, detailing many other positive impacts, can be viewed here.
CVOEO would also like to thank all those who lent their expertise to the process including Dr. Pablo Bose (University of Vermont), Diana Colangelo (Burlington Community and Economic Development Office), Denise Lamoureux (Vermont State Refugee Coordinator), and Whytnee Bush (Vermont Office of the Attorney General) among many others.
In 2016, the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) served more than 1,600 New Americans, and additionally 15 families seeking asylum.
With each new population comes a unique set of needs, but common across all cultures is the need for the basics to survive in their new home. CVOEO’s Community Action staff provide housing, heating fuel and food assistance.
As people become acclimated and settled, however, they also need the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive: employment, financial skills and assets, tenant rights and responsibilities, fair housing rights, and tax preparation, to name a few of the program areas in which CVOEO provides further support.