Economic Development

econ dev

Economic Development is the hub of all of SEVCA’s Micro Business, Asset Development, and Workforce Development Programs. The department has provided leadership and guidance in efforts to promote regional equitable development that reduces social and economic disparities within our region by providing new opportunities for training, business ownership, job creation and retention, and asset development.

Micro Business Program. Since 1988, SEVCA’s has provided technical assistance to low-to-moderate income Vermonters to start, maintain, or expand a small business. We provide support and advice to individuals or groups through one-on-one business counseling, classroom training, and workshops to help the existing and potential entrepreneurs of Windham and Windsor counties to realize their dreams.

Workforce Development and Training. We offer job readiness training and support through our "Ready for Work" program, a collaboration between SEVCA, the Windham Workforce Investment Board, and Community College of Vermont. We also provide Computer Skills Training in topics such as QuickBooks, Excel, MS Word, and PowerPoint.

Our Individual Development Account Program (IDA) provides asset building, "Financial Fitness" classes, and counseling services to low-income participants to achieve personal and professional goals, economic stability, and financial literacy. Using personal savings, which are matched by private and public sources, participants can purchase their first home, capitalize a small business, or pursue education and job training as a step towards self-sufficiency.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is offered in collaboration with the IRS to serve low-to moderate income households in Windham and Windsor counties. Highly trained volunteers provide free tax return assistance to income eligible individuals and families, with particular emphasis on helping them obtain Earned Income Tax Credits, Child Care Tax Credits, and any other tax credits, deductions, and refunds to which they are entitled, and encourage them to invest some of that money in asset building activities, such as our IDA Program.

The new "Vermont HealthConnect" Navigator program provides advice and application assistance to facilitate access to health care coverage.

“Unless the investment in children is made, all of humanity’s most fundamental long-term problems will remain fundamental long-term problems.”

UNICEF "The State of the Children" (1995)