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Economic Development – When People Matter – A 30-Year Project Restoring a City for Its Citizens (audio)

Forty years ago, Burlington Vermont was a tired and rundown old industrial city with vacant storefronts, a high unemployment rate and a rapidly shrinking industrial base. Today, Burlington’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in 372 metropolitan areas.  Its foreclosure rate hovers around zero.  It has a thriving arts and cultural program with over 100 annual community events.  Small business startups, including women-lead, are happening – and growing to medium-size businesses; local food production and processing is a job generator, and on and on.  Burlington’s revival can be traced back to 1981 when newly hired Economic Development Manager Bruce Seifer started working with families, neighborhoods, community and state leaders to create this metamorphosis.  WRFI’s Fred Balfour interviewed Bruce to explore how the people and local government collaborated to revitalize the city and the region.