From an economic development perspective, success often depends on a number of factors. Each community will bring focus to and develop individual pieces of their respective puzzle that they feel best position them for success. Here in Middlebury, Vermont, we have the benefit of a number of great assets via our local community that provide us with a competitive advantage. As I refer to Middlebury as the cultural, educational and economic hub of central Vermont, I thought we should focus on education as the first pillar in the series.
When people think of Middlebury it is almost impossible to not also think of Middlebury College – consistently, one of the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts schools. In addition to the assets afforded to undergraduate students at the college and to those of us that reside here in Middlebury, the College is internationally recognized for it’s proficiency in language-based education. They currently have a West Coast campus at Mills College in the foothills of Oakland, CA and the Monterey Institute for International Studies is responsible for the College’s graduate programs.
Additionally, Middlebury High School is ranked one of the best high schools in the State and over the last two years has had students go on to study at Princeton, Williams, Yale, Colby, and Middlebury among others. This success is partly traced to the fact that education in this place is more than simply being proficient at the three R’s. Our young people are generally well rounded citizens of the world – Middlebury has access to a global and international network – and this advantage appears to serve them well as the move forward. These students are also often products of the local middle school and various elementary schools in the area. The dedication to education in our extended community is overwhelming.
So, as you might be considering an expansion project or launching your next entrepreneurial idea you might want to give a degree of additional consideration to our community – Middlebury, VT. We have the perfect blend of small town quality and global awareness/ connectedness largely because of the value we place on education. Our community is enlightened and we have an unparalleled intellectual infrastructure when compared to any other place in our state. Education is one of the pillars (structural elements) that allows us to be recognized as the cultural, educational and economic hub of central Vermont.