Business in Brief: Federal aid for Irene available; nursing students honored

The Vermont Community Development Program has awarded a $1 million Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery to two southeastern Vermont regional development corporations. Brattleboro Development Credit Corp. is partnering with Springfield Regional Development Corp. to provide funding for Irene flood-impacted businesses throughout Windham and southern Windsor counties.

“While it is discouraging that some businesses are still trying to recover, we’re happy to have been able to find another resource to try and help,” said BDCC Executive Director Jeff Lewis.

The grant represents the second round of funding made available from $21.7 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds allocated to the state from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development following Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.

U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch fought to include $400 million in HUD CDBG disaster funding in the federal budget. Their efforts ensured that Vermont was one of a handful of states that received an allocation of this funding. Leahy, Sanders and Welch have also worked with HUD to ensure that the funding had less strings attached enabling the funds to be used in some of the most severely impacted communities in Windham County.

The awards are based on project reviews by the Vermont Community Development Program staff, funding recommendations made by the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Secretary of Commerce and Community Development Lawrence Miller.
Projects must meet “unmet disaster recovery needs,” including repair of a structure, repair or replacement of equipment, creation or retention of jobs, interest rate buy downs on private loans, rent subsidies and lost rental revenue.

SRDC’s Bob Flint indicated that the funding would help ease the transition from recovery to growth. “We hope to utilize the block grant to help the small businesses that are still feeling the financial pressure from Irene be in a position to have stability and start to move forward to prosperity,” Flint said.

The process of awarding funds will be competitive. Applications are available on the BDCC and SRDC websites: and VtSBDC will be providing a limited series of technical assistance seminars for businesses that want help with the application. The dates for those sessions will be posted with the application.
For more information on business applications contact: April Harkness, BDCC, 802-257-7731 or Paul Kowalski, SRDC, 802-885-3061

Two Chester nursing candidates earn top honors

Vermont Technical College announced that 118 candidates in the Associate’s Degree in Nursing Program have been invited to join the top honor society for AD nurses in the nation. Vermont Tech’s newly formed chapter of the Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society, founded by the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, promotes scholarship and academic excellence in the profession of nursing.

“This is a tremendous honor for the students selected,” said Professor Michelle Wade, co-coordinator of the Alpha Delta Nu chapter at Vermont Tech. “They have proven themselves not only to be stellar students but also have demonstrated a deep commitment to the profession they are joining.”

Among students from Southern Vermont who have been invited are Katrina Boissonnault and Carmen-Lee Ward both of Chester; Springfield residents Sarah Garfield and Amanda Kelly; Tara Aucoin of E. Dummerston; James Follett of Wilmington; Tammy Mattison of Manchester Center; and David Hall of Guilford.

The Alpha Delta Nu Nursing Honor Society was established by the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing in the spring of 2012. Vermont Technical College is chartered as the Chi Chapter — the third chapter established among a growing group that is up to 31 chapters in 11 states.

To be considered for membership, students who have completed three semesters must:

  • Attain and maintain a 3.0 GPA in all nursing courses.
  • Demonstrate conduct on campus and in the clinical areas that reflect integrity and professionalism.
  • Complete a group community service project during the first eight weeks of the spring semester.

Formal induction into Alpha Delta Nu will take place at Vermont Tech’s honors convocation at the Randolph Campus Center on April 11, 2013. Inductees will receive special Alpha Delta Nu pins and cords, which will be worn at both the convocation and graduation ceremonies.

Vermont Technical College is the only public institution of higher learning in Vermont whose mission is applied education. One of the five Vermont state colleges, Vermont Tech serves students at its two residential campuses in Williston and Randolph Center, regional campuses in Brattleboro and Bennington and at six other nursing campuses throughout the state.

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