On Tuesday, February 19 2019, we had the opportunity to represent The Work Commons at the Vermont Senate Committee On Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs hearing on Rural Economic Development & Innovation hearing at The Space on Main in Bradford.
It was a wonderful opportunity to share what is happening in the Kingdom and network with colleagues. Below please find our remarks and head on over to The Space on Main’s Post about the event including the live stream video they set up (Thanks Monique!). You can hear our testimony around the 2:25 mark.
Co-Working spaces in rural communities are integral to welcoming collaboration and creativity for both natives and transplants alike. The Work Commons in Newport, on the shores of international Lake Memphremagog, offers a modern view of our city and a space for locals and visitors to continue working on their goals and dreams from the comfort of a low key, relaxed office space. The Work Commons has been open for just over half a year, and regularly sees community meetings, new businesses and members walk through our doors as the days go on.
We are also very invested in aligning our services with other spaces in the State and are thrilled to be here today, with all of you. Thank You!
A Native from Newport, having lived in New York City for over a dozen years, I returned to Vermont in my early 30s. When coming back to the area, I wasn’t sure what to expect and if Vermont was the place for me. In addition to falling into human services after a long career in the entertainment business, I opened a vision consulting company, Sunshine Silver Lining, to share my transferable skills with my community. Coming onboard as the Goodwill Ambassador for The Work Commons and working with owners Rick and Jamie Woodard has been a pleasure. Sharing the benefits of coworking with our community has greatly helped further my business and creativity as well as allowing for alignment and collaboration with all industries in Newport from Securities, to Substance Abuse Prevention, to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont and the NEK Young Professionals Network.
Vermont needs spaces like The Work Commons for those of us that aren’t always at the ski resort or snowmobiling. While I may be back in Vermont, I am a city girl through and through, even if it is the city of Newport, and having access to high speed internet, a communal workspace, and services that welcome collaboration is paramount to getting people back to Vermont, to having people stay in Vermont and inviting people to make their lives in Vermont whether that be full or part time. Flexibility and innovation are necessary and co-working spaces authentically welcome that way of creating and thriving into Vermont’s communities.
We welcome you to take a trip over the river and through the woods, or more accurately – up to the Canadian Border – to check out The Work Commons and see all we have to offer. Thank you for your time!