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WATCH: 5 Minutes with Dan Smith on the Five COVID-19 Recovery Initiatives

"With each of these initiatives, the issues underlying them are systemic and they pre-date the pandemic. We're asking the question, 'What's the role for philanthropy and for a community foundation in addressing them across Vermont communities with an eye on the long-term?' We believe that doing so is fundamental to the long term resilience of Vermont communities as we come out of this pandemic and face the years ahead." 

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What We're Learning from the VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives

Last September, we announced five recovery initiatives that address key challenges magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic and set the state on a pathway to more equity and greater community and economic resilience in the face of future disruption: Rural Entrepreneurship, Food System Resilience, Rural Connectivity, Learning in Transition, and Welcoming, Equitable, Anti-Racist Communities. Over the past few months, we have interviewed the team leaders for each recovery initiative to understand why the Community Foundation chose to focus on each as part of its pandemic recovery strategy.

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The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Welcoming, Equitable, Anti-Racist Communities

Between the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impacts on BIPOC communities, public visibility to senseless police killings, and the brutal treatment of American citizens expressing their free speech, 2020 was a perfect recipe for the United States—and Vermont—to reawaken to the deeply embedded systemic racism that exists in our country. This renewed attention to the circumstances that BIPOC individuals face every day presents an opportunity to put Vermont in a better place post-pandemic that is welcoming and inclusive to everyone.

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The Vermont Community Foundation Promotes Early College at CCV with COVID-19 Recovery Funds

Today, the Vermont Community Foundation announced that it has partnered with the Community College of Vermont (CCV) to expand pathways to promising jobs for high school seniors across the state. To help the Vermont high school class of 2022 chart and start their career training, the Community Foundation will offer a total of $1,000 in stipends to each student who enrolls in CCV’s free Early College program to pursue certificates in one of three short-term career training programs: Cybersecurity Fundamentals, Graphic Design, or IT Service Desk Specialist. The funding is provided through the Vermont Community Foundation’s VT COVID-19 Response Fund.

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The VT COVID-19 Response Fund Recovery Initiatives: A Q+A on Food System Resilience

Farming and farm-based products are embedded in the cultural fabric of Vermont. Agriculture may not look like it did fifty years ago but it is still critical to Vermont’s economy, health, and working landscape. This has proven to be fundamental to our resilience during the pandemic. Vermont’s food system—growers, processors, distributors, restaurants, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, etc.—continue to meet the demand from local consumers uncertain of national supply chains and they are stretching in new ways to ensure no Vermonters go hungry.

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