Local News
January 25, 2017

Project Vision named semifinalist in prestigious Harvard competition

RUTLAND—The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, has selected Rutland’s Project Vision as a semifinalist among the 100 programs in this year’s Innovations in American Government Awards competition. Project Vision will compete to be named a finalist in the competition and have the chance to be awarded the $100,000 grand prize in Cambridge, Mass., this spring.
Project Vision advanced from a pool of more than 500 applications from all 50 states and was selected by the Innovations Award evaluators as examples of novel and effective action whose work has had significant impact and which they believe can be replicated across the country and the world.
Project Vision is a proven, verifiable and holistic strategy that overcomes one of the most vexing problems facing our communities today: the scourge of opiate abuse. The initiative recognizes the interconnectedness of all community members and the importance of breaking down organizational silos that inhibit effective, long-lasting solutions.
“These programs demonstrate that there are no prerequisites for doing the good work of governing,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government program at the Ash Center. “Small towns and massive cities, huge federal agencies and local school districts, large budgets or no budgets at all — what makes government work best is the drive to do better, and this group proves that drive can be found anywhere.”
The semifinalist programs represent a cross-section of jurisdictions and policy areas, and embody one of the most diverse and sophisticated groups that have advanced to this stage in the competition’s 30-year history. They were invited to complete a supplementary application last fall, answering in-depth questions about their work, the process of creating and sustaining their programs, and how they believe they can teach others to do what they do.
The Ash Center expects to invite 10 finalists to Cambridge to present to the Innovation Awards Program’s national selection committee in March, with the grand prize winners to be named in June.

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