CAPA, Institutional News, Local Impact

State and Local Leaders Convene at CAPA on Public Safety

Bennington County’s leadership and collaboration efforts were highlighted during a first-of-its-kind public safety summit held at Bennington College. 

Bennington College’s Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) was filled to capacity on Monday, March 20. Statewide leaders including Governor Phil Scott and many of his commissioners along with representatives from more than twenty-five local health and human services agencies gathered for a day-long meeting to discuss public services collaborations with potential to enhance public health and safety operations in Bennington County and improve services for those in need. It is the first of several such meetings planned in communities statewide.

“I asked my team to find a community that recognizes the challenges, that is making smart economic investments, is open to doing things a little differently, and is motivated, and they immediately recommended Bennington,” said Governor Scott. “The collaboration resulting is exactly what we were hoping for. In short, from my perspective, you are the leading edge, developing the next evolution of community leadership.” 

Image of conference convening
Image of conference convening
Image of Governor Phil Scott addresses the convening
Governor Phil Scott addresses the convening.

The summit followed the model of Vermont’s nation-leading response to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the whole of state government compiled and shared relevant data and worked synergistically across agencies and within local communities. 

“Bennington College is the perfect place for this important meeting. We have a long history of putting knowledge to work in the world. We call it public action, and it is the purpose of the space you are sitting in,” said Bennington College President Laura Walker during her welcome remarks. “With creativity at its core, Bennington encourages people to think of old problems in new ways. And that’s what we are going to do today.” 

The group achieved its goal to identify action steps that will begin to address gaps, increase leadership connections, and amplify public safety and public health coordination efforts in the region. 

The meeting closed with the announcement of a new group, Project Alliance, to continue to engage with the attendees in ongoing collaborations and to generate funding proposals as a part of the Governor’s ten-point public safety enhancement plan