The Office of Engagement, in collaboration with the Center for Rural Studies and other partners across the University and the state of Vermont, is developing a research study aimed at assessing the economic resilience of Vermont.

The objectives of this study include the use a of holistic community development framework and a mixed methods research design to consider the key challenges and opportunities for industries and communities across Vermont, particularly with respect to COVID-19 recovery, and to set the stage for building a more resilient Vermont.

1. Working across a suite of metrics and stakeholders, we will develop a common vision of what successful economic resiliency looks like across all regions of the state of Vermont.
2. We will use a common economic resiliency framework to develop shared narratives for partners across our stakeholder network.

1. Develop a standardized methodology that uses holistic community development perspectives to examine issues raised by partners and stakeholders, consider the implications of COVID-19, and assess the economic resilience of Vermont communities.
2. Design a preliminary research program aimed at assessing community economic development through data analysis, quantitative surveys, and qualitative focus groups and interviews.
3. Generate summary findings and actionable recommendations to support the economic resiliency of the state of Vermont.

Assessment Framework
Integrate components of community resilience frameworks:
• Economic development opportunities
• Leveraging of social capital
• Taking a community assets approach
• Considering the role that information and communication systems and networks play

Study Structure:
Phase 1: Roundtables
Phase 2: Secondary Data Analysis
Phase 3: Business and Non-profit Survey
Phase 4: Focus groups

Contact Us

To learn more about this work or to get involved, you can reach us at: or 802-656-8911