In part not to duplicate efforts taken by other groups, the NEK Collaborative will be using a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) as a basis for targeting future efforts. You can download the document, or get more information from NVDA.
The NEK Collaborative Strategic Plan lays out the key goals for the region as expressed by its residents. These goals will be used for reviewing USDA RBDG grants as described by applicants in letters of intent and applications. The 2016 Strategic Plan draws together information from VCRD forums (see below), additional meetings with business groups, and earlier plans and community meetings. We held a meeting for 2016 RBDG grant applicants on Wednesday, February 17 at the Barton Municipal Building. Collaborative Board members and USDA staff were at this meeting. Applicants had an opportunity to ask questions about the grant process, and the chance to discuss with others who were applying for similar projects whether there are ways in which to coordinate efforts and strengthen or combine applications.
2015: A primary function of the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative is to encourage organizations and individuals from across the region to work together on common goals. Developing planning documents is a key part of these efforts. In conjunction with the Vermont Council on Rural Development, we held forums in Canaan, Hardwick and Newport to gather ideas for an updated Strategic Plan. VCRD’s site has the Final Report from these efforts * [PDF].
We reviewed the results of other efforts in putting together our 2016 plan. Key sources are marked with * (here and below, in Other Information Sources). VCRD has organized discussions in St. Johnsbury * (2015 Community Visit PDF), Craftsbury * (2015 Community Visit PDF), and Barton * (2013 NEK Today and Tomorrow PDF). NVDA has their * 2015 Northeast Kingdom Regional Plan. In 2011, NVDA produced a * Regional Food System Plan (PDF).
2010: The 2011 Strategic Plan was produced from the draft Strategic Plan [links removed to encourage Google to reference 2016 plan] that was presented for approval at the Collaborative’s annual meeting on September 10, 2010.
The results from a year’s worth of forums on a variety of topics were combined into a document that was used as a starting point for the Summit at Lyndon State College on March 13, 2010. For each forum topic, the document includes a list of panelists, a summary of comments by panelists and audience members, and overall goals and action steps. The document comes in two forms. They are in Microsoft Word format – because of the included graphics, a PDF version became prohibitively large (over 14 MB).
- With blank pages for notes (DOC), each topic starting on a new page. Best for printing individual topics of interest. (40 pp)
- Without blank pages for notes (DOC). Best for printing all the information on the least number of pages. (23 pp)
2000: The first strategic plan was developed in 2000. Details are described on our original site.
USDA’s RBDG web page describes their RBDG (Rural Business Development Grant) grants. These grants cover areas previously covered by RBOG (Rural Business Opportunity Grant) and RBEG (Rural Business Enterprise Grant) grants. For the past few years, applications within Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom have been reviewed by the Collaborative to determine whether or not their goals are in line with the Collaborative’s Strategic Plan (see above). The details of the review process tend to change a bit from year to year. One clear change is an increased focus by both the Collaborative and USDA on applicants showing an effort to join with other organizations with similar goals whenever appropriate.
The NEK Collaborative previously considered using the Collective Impact model. It is now being used for other efforts in the area. More information about this model can be found here.
Other Information Sources
U.S. Census Bureau: * State and County QuickFacts; * American Community Survey (Population Estimates, American Community Survey, Census of Population and Housing, State and County Housing Unit Estimates, County Business Patterns, Non-employer Statistics, Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners, Building Permits)
In Vermont, the * Agency of Natural Resources, the Department of * Labor, Economic, Labor & Market Information and a * 2013 Department of Tourism & Marketing Study (PDF) on visitor spending and a * 2012 VSAC Special Report: Vermont’s Class of 2012 (PDF; on pursuing a postsecondary education).
From the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, * 2015 County Health Statistics.