Second Vermont Conference Set And Registration Opens For Workshops On Tapping The Newly Enacted Stimulus Plan

Leahy and Douglas will host March 30 session in Brattleboro

(TUESDAY, March 17) – Sen. Patrick Leahy says online registration has opened for the second statewide conference in Vermont on the newly enacted economic recovery package, which will be held Monday, March 30, in Brattleboro.  Leahy and Gov. James Douglas again will host the Vermont conference and workshops on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), where free workshops will give Vermont families, businesses and towns an early start in learning how the stimulus plan will help strengthen Vermont’s economy.  This second conference was organized after overwhelming demand left hundreds of Vermonters unable to register for the conference in northern Vermont earlier this month, which more than 700 attended.

Leahy said, “The way Vermonters have responded is encouraging.  No state has shown more determination than Vermonters have in wanting to quickly and effectively put this plan to work.  They know that the sooner the work begins, the sooner we will be able to help stabilize our economy and create Vermont jobs.”

The conference will open at 10:30 a.m. in the Latchis Theater with remarks by Leahy, Douglas and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, followed by seven workshops in the Latchis and across the street at the Marlboro College Technology Center, in which federal officials and representatives of state agencies will offer their perspectives on the economic recovery package in sessions focusing on: how to access infrastructure improvement funding; securing energy and broadband infrastructure funding; assisting small businesses interested in doing business with federal and state agencies; identifying small business provisions that may help Vermont firms weather the difficult economy; tapping first-responder and criminal justice funding opportunities; identifying health, human services, and labor and education funding opportunities; and a session focused on helping Vermont families learn about the tax and grant opportunities in the recovery plan.  Participants can expect broad overviews of selected programs and question and answer sessions with program experts.  Leahy noted that many of the funding formulas and program details contained in the legislation are still being finalized. 

Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee which helped craft the legislation, initiated the conference planning and has worked with Governor Douglas, Vermont Legislative leaders and federal agencies in organizing the sessions.  Leahy earlier announced that Vermont will receive more than $700 million in direct federal investments under the new law in infrastructure improvements and social services.   Leahy also anticipates that hundreds of small businesses and nearly every Vermont family will receive further direct benefits ranging from tax incentives to medical and unemployment coverage.  Much of the bill’s help will be allocated by funding formulas; other benefits will depend on applications by businesses and governments for competitive grants, which will push Vermont’s total still higher.  

Detailed program agendas, links and registration forms for the conference will be available on Leahy’s website and by calling the toll-free number below.  Advance registration is required and the deadline for registering is March 25.

WHAT:   Conference and Workshops on Vermont’s Stake in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

WHEN:   Monday, March 30, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Latchis Theater, 50 Main Street, Brattleboro

WHO:     Vermont residents, small business owners, advocates, municipal officials; open to the press

ONLINE: For links, information and registration, go to www.leahy.senate.gov; or call toll-free to register at 1-800-642-3193. 

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