The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) joined with partners Efficiency Vermont and Green Mountain Power to announce that Randolph has been selected as the next community to participate in the Climate Economy Model Communities Program. In the coming months this program will bring the citizens of Randolph together to develop locally identified initiatives that increase prosperity and affordability in an age of climate change. By designing and implementing comprehensive efficiency efforts, transportation system improvements, renewable energy generation, entrepreneurship and business incubation, Randolph can build upon its many assets and help to secure a vibrant future.
“Randolph made a very compelling case for their readiness to take full advantage of this program,” noted Paul Costello, Executive Director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. “With support from local business owners, farmers, the college, the hospital, the Rotarians, the school district, the town, and others, there is already a dynamic team coming together to move Randolph forward. VCRD is looking forward to working with all who want to participate to improve the economic health and well-being of all sectors of this great community.”
“This was and will be a real team effort,” noted Gary Dir, Chair of the Randolph Energy Committee and coordinator of Randolph’s application. “Randolph is a great place to live and has such a wealth of assets, both natural, institutional, and human. With this program I hope we can build on those assets and identify actionable projects that will make this place even more enticing for businesses, youth, families and seniors alike.”
“This is great news for both Randolph and Vermont Technical College,” noted Patricia Moulton, President of VT Tech. “We see a strong opportunity to make our campus even more energy efficient and for our students and faculty to be involved with Randolph’s efforts. At VT Tech we are educating the workforce of the new climate economy and this will provide a great chance for more on-the-ground learning right in our front yard.”
“This is great news! This process has and will continue to bring together many wonderful people from all corners of our great town,” noted Randolph Selectboard Chair Trini Brassard. “We are all excited to work together to continue making Randolph a great place to live, work, and play.”
“We look forward to working closely with the Randolph community and the program partners to better understand the opportunities to increase energy efficiency in homes, businesses, and public institutions,” said Karen Glitman, Director of Efficiency Vermont. “Randolph can help lead the way toward a more sustainable and resilient future, providing a roadmap for other Vermont communities. We’re honored to be a part of that work.”
Work will start right away to plan a kick-off event that will launch the Climate Economy Community Initiative in Randolph. At the kick-off, a statewide team of experts will join with the community as they look at Randolph’s assets and opportunities and brainstorm ways to create a secure and vibrant future for the town and residents. All members of the Randolph community are encouraged to participate and there will be broad invitation announcing the date and time of the kick-off event. Those wanting to be involved can contact the Program Director Jon Copans at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 225-6393.
The most recent model community program participant, the Town of Middlebury, is currently moving full steam ahead with their work. Task forces have formed to transform the transportation system, increase participation in home and business energy efficiency, energy transformation and renewable energy opportunities, to help farmers move towards practices that reduce climate impacts while increasing soil health and farm profitability, and to provide ongoing support to all of their community-based climate-focused work moving forward. “Every community is different; VCRD and our partners are excited to see and support the initiatives that residents from Randolph set as priorities for action. Everyone is invited to help set direction and lead the work forward,” noted Jon Copans of VCRD.
Randolph, a community of about 4,700 in Orange County, lies at the geographic heart of Vermont. It is host to a thriving group of manufacturers and other businesses, a diverse array of farmers, Vermont Technical College, Gifford Medical Center, and Chandler Center for the Arts.
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.
The Model Communities Program receives support from VLITE, the High Meadows Fund, the Sustainable Future Foundation of the Vermont Community Foundation, the Bay and Paul Foundations, the Oakland Foundation, and VCRD’s members.