“Putting aside utilities and infrastructure for the moment, I see quality of life and availability of talent as being the two biggest drivers for success, and the first rural communities to the finish line with a solution that meets both will be the leaders of tomorrow and will re-write history and how we all live, work and play.”
~Tom Gray, Grand River Dam Authority
The federally designated East Central Vermont Economic Development District (ECVEDD) consists of 40 towns within parts of Addison, Orange, Rutland, and Windsor Counties in Vermont. The towns of East Central Vermont are Andover, Baltimore, Barnard, Bethel, Bradford, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Cavendish, Chelsea, Chester, Corinth, Fairlee, Granville, Hancock, Hartford, Hartland, Ludlow, Newbury, Norwich, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Pomfret, Randolph, Reading, Rochester, Royalton, Sharon, Springfield, Stockbridge, Strafford, Thetford, Topsham, Tunbridge, Vershire, Weathersfield, West Fairlee, West Windsor, Windsor, and Woodstock.
The East Central Vermont (ECV) region ranges from rural areas without any discernible community center to bricked Main Streets with bustling shops, parks, and civic buildings. The Vermont Constitution was written in the region. ECV gave birth to the machine tool industry of the nation and was home to characters of national fame—Calvin Coolidge, Joseph Smith, Samuel Morey, and Justin Morgan—as well as those of more local significance, such as Frederick Billings, Justin Morrill, and Charles Loomis Dana. The region is also part of the larger Lebanon-Claremont (NH) Micropolitan Statistical Area, and our economy reflects a healthy interdependency on New Hampshire’s Sullivan and Grafton Counties. There is no metropolitan statistical area in this region, attesting to its truly rural nature.
Artists and artisans flourish in the region, producing glassware, pottery, prints, and fine furniture. Microbrews, ski trails, fall foliage, maple syrup, and great cheeses all really do exist here. Many of these local products and businesses contribute to our region’s sustainability by using local ingredients and utilizing the area’s farmland and forestland. However, ECV is not just a picture-perfect postcard. Companies in the region manufacture a wide variety of products, such as robots for bomb squads and precision plastic parts.
For a rural area, we have excellent access to transportation infrastructure (which also includes public transportation services). Passenger and freight rail, airports, two interstate highways, and a growing high-speed internet network connect us to the world. The region has changed drastically over the years, but physically it remains a relatively intact, special place that draws visitors from near and far. Vermonters take pride in the land, communities, and products that characterize the state that we call home.
The principal place of business for the ECVEDD is currently at the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) located on the King Farm in the town of Woodstock, Vermont.