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 savings.
Since 1988, SEVCA’s Micro Business / Asset Development Program (MB/ADP) has been providing technical assistance to low-to-moderate income Vermonters to start, maintain or expand a small business. The MB/ADP provides 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.
Through the Vermont Women’s Business Center, MB/ADP provides services for women who are interested in starting a business, or who need assistance or advice with an existing business. In addition to one-on-one business counseling and technical assistance, various workshops and trainings are offered throughout the year.
Workforce Development and Training coordinates our Weatherization and Energy Auditing Certification, Business Start-up for Dislocated Workers, and Computer Skills training programs. Our computer classes offer training in QuickBooks, Excel, MS Word, and PowerPoint. Scholarships are available for qualified individuals.
Working Bridges: Our Resource Coordinator works with participating businesses to help increase employee retention, productivity and job satisfaction and reduce turnover and lost time due to personal crises. The “Bridges Out of Poverty” curriculum on poverty dynamics is provided to Human Resources staff, and our coordinator offers on-site assistance at work to employees in crisis or facing barriers.
Our Individual Development Account Program (IDA) provides asset building, financial education 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.
“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)