Press Release
March 15, 2021
Contact: Jon Copans, Vermont Council on Rural Development
Phone: (802) 272-0162
E-mail: [email protected]

As part of the Vermont Community Leadership Network, the Vermont Council on Rural Development is forming a new “action center” to convene and provide targeted support to a cohort of Vermonters working on response to the pandemic and a robust recovery. The Community Response and Recovery Corps (CRRC) will come together beginning in April to build connections with peers, learn from each other, provide mutual support, and connect with resource providers.

The pandemic has upended life for many Vermonters and had a major impact on our communities and local economy. This moment has served to remind us that collectively we all hold the keys to community health and vitality. Vermonters are stepping up in countless ways in response, with neighbors helping neighbors, through mutual aid efforts, through businesses, organizations and local and state government. The Community Response and Recovery Corps will convene and support a group of these Vermonters.

“Strong, capable, and connected local leaders are the key to getting things done quickly and collaboratively in communities,” noted VCRD Program Director Jon Copans. “In their success lies the success of our state as a whole. The Community Response and Recovery Corps is designed to bring together new and experienced leaders as they work to address the current challenges of the pandemic and help Vermont emerge stronger than ever.”

VCRD is recruiting a cohort of up to 15 local leaders to join this group. Members of the Community Response and Recovery Corps will come together for 12 lunchtime group Zoom sessions over the course of six months. Sessions will include full and small group discussions with guest speakers. VCRD will serve as a convener and facilitator. Participants will also have access to one-on-one project coaching from VCRD staff and partners. For anyone interested, VCRD will host an online information session to discuss the program on March 22 at 1:00. Register for that session here ( For those unable to attend, a recording of this session will be made available soon afterwards.

There is no cost to participate as a member of the Corps. All that we ask from those who join is that they commit to participate in every session and carry forward their community work. The deadline to apply is March 29. Click here to complete a short and simple application:

The Vermont Community Leadership Network is building on over two decades of deep facilitative work in well over 100 of Vermont’s small towns and 2018 and 2019 Statewide Community Leadership Summits. The Vermont Council on Rural Development launched the Vermont Community Leadership Network to connect and support local leaders working toward of recovery, resilience and renewal. The network helps local leaders share skills, practices, connections, and mutual support to empower members who are building local projects, programs, organizations, and systems that serve their communities and Vermont’s urgent and long-term needs. There is no cost to membership. The network hosts two online workshops each month, a monthly networking lunch, and, with the launch of the Corps, cohort “action centers.” Learn more about the network and sign-up to join by going here:

The Vermont Council on Rural Development is a non-profit organization charged by the federal farm bill to act as a neutral convener at both the local and policy level supporting the progress of Vermont communities.