I am writing to you today to share a vision for Vermont that is guided not by what is lacking but by what is working.
I have so much optimism about our beautiful state. Vermont has incredible resources and resilient people. We see it in our working landscape, our revitalized downtowns, in our commitment to community, and in our creative entrepreneurs starting up successful businesses small and large throughout the state.
And we see it in the good things happening every day. Over the last few weeks we’ve seen positive change:
- In Rutland, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, a nonprofit supporting housing and community projects, received more funds to help people become homeowners and make improvements on their homes.
- In Royalton, GW Plastics, a global manufacturing company, announced an expansion that will lead to 70 new jobs for Vermonters.
- Farm and forestry-based businesses in Addison, Waterbury, Townshend, Wells, Orwell and Richmond, have been awarded over $700,000 in USDA grants helping them grow their businesses making everything from goat milk truffles and yogurt, gelato and milk, to naturally raised pork products and wood pellets.
- In Essex, Essex Junction and Westford, following years of hard work and collaboration, voters overwhelmingly approved a plan to consolidate their school districts under Act 46, which will lead to financial savings and more educational opportunities for students.
- In Waterbury, the Alchemist is doing its part to tackle climate change by tapping into locally produced solar energy from a solar project in Bethel to power their brewery.
- GlobalFoundries has just completed $55 million in investments that increase their chip production capacity in Essex Junction.
- The Western Rail Corridor project is now back on track to provide rail service between Burlington and Rutland thanks to $10 million in federal funds.
These entrepreneurs, businesses and nonprofits–and thousands more–all contribute to what makes Vermont great. These stories highlight just a few of the partnerships that are being forged all over the state to make positive change.
We must celebrate our successes and strengths, while also recognizing and tackling our challenges. We must work harder to improve our economy and create better opportunities for the many Vermonters who are struggling. We need our children, our working families and our older adults to benefit from the successes we celebrate.
We have a long way to go but working together, we can leverage our strengths to foster successful communities throughout the state.
I ask for your help—your ideas, your commitment, your passion—to keep Vermont a place where people want to live, work, raise a family and grow old.
Please join the campaign today. Visit our website to volunteer, share your thoughts and contribute to our campaign to keep Vermont successful.
All my best,
Shap Smith, gubernatorial candidate