The states of Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have received a joint grant of $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to create an organization called the New England Regional Defense Industry Collaboration.
Over the next eighteen months, these funds will be used by the organization to coordinate the growth of defense-related businesses across the six-state New England region. The primary goals of the organization will be to aid small and medium-sized businesses in meeting new cybersecurity requirements for businesses participating in the defense industry supply chain, as well as to create a trusted supplier network that will make it easier for large defense contractors to locate smaller suppliers that are able to meet their production, certification and process requirements.
“The New England region contains an important concentration of defense industry suppliers. And because of our geographical presence and history, our region is also uniquely positioned to form a working collaborative to significantly improve cross-border cooperation and assistance for the defense industry,” said Vermont Governor Phil Scott. “Vermont is honored to have been appointed to manage this project, and we look forward to working through this collaboration to benefit Vermont and New England’s supply chain industries.”
In a joint statement, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said, “Vermont is taking a leading role in expanding access to the robust supply chain opportunities throughout New England. This grant will allow Vermont’s many small and medium-sized defense-related businesses to coordinate growth with similar supply chain businesses throughout New England, leading to larger government contracts and greater economic opportunity for Vermonters.”
The efforts to pursue funding to create a region-wide defense assistance organization have been led by a steering committee that includes representative defense businesses with operations in the region as well as state economic development leaders.
For more information on the New England Regional Defense Industry Collaboration, please contact Brett Long (Deputy Commissioner of the Dept. of Economic Development at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development) at (802) 461-9353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.