Economic Development

Education, manufacturing, retail trade, agriculture, forestry and construction are the main employment sectors for the region’s residents. The region’s employment centers — Middlebury, Vergennes and Bristol – employ about 70 percent of the region’s residents. A growing number of small businesses are starting in the region and the number of self-employed continues to rise.

The service sector including jobs in education and health services is now the largest sector of the region’s economy. Tourism is another growing sector of the region’s economy. Agriculture and forestry have played a central role in defining the character of the Addison Region and have historically been, and continue to be, significant parts of the region’s economy. Current trends in agriculture are leading to fewer, larger dairy farms in the region. There is also a trend towards small operations focused on non-dairy or specialty-food products.

ACRPC has outlined four economic development goals in its Regional Plan:

  1. The Addison Region will be an attractive place to live, work, vacation and conduct business.
  2. The economy of the Addison Region is and should continue to be primarily comprised of small- to medium-sized, locally-owned businesses, which can be created and grow without placing undue strain on local services, schools and property taxes.
  3. The economy of the Addison Region should continue to be significantly tied to agriculture and forest products in order to ensure the continuation of sustainable farming and forestry in the region and the maintenance of the region’s rural character.
  4. The Addison Region will provide adequate infrastructure and services to support a strong and diverse economy.

Please refer to the Chapter on Economy within ACRPC’s Regional Plan for additional details.
June 2017 Full Commission Presentation: Facilitating Economic Development in Villages & Downtowns

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