October 15, 1997

Community Connections Program
at the Middlebury College Geonomics Institute: Russian Entrepreneurs
to Learn New Business Strategies from Vermont Companies

Ten Russian entrepreneurs
from the Omsk region in south-western Siberia will learn valuable
management skills from successful Vermont businesses this fall.
From October 21 to November 20, the Russian delegates will be
participating in the Community Connections program, sponsored
by the Geonomics Institute at Middlebury College, The Snelling
Center for Government, Champlain College, the Vermont/Karelia
Rule of Law Project, the Addison County Economic Development Corporation,
and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

Through intensive training
at Middlebury College followed by community-based internships,
the program will assist the new Russian entrepreneurs in developing
and operating profitable businesses. Community Connections facilitates
personal connections between Vermonters and Russians through homestays
with Vermont families and opportunities to engage in local cultural
and community activities. The project will also provide Vermont
companies with a low-cost, low-risk mechanism for exploring potential
commercial and trade opportunities in Russia and specifically
the Omsk region. This area may prove especially attractive to
Vermont enterprises as it boasts the most advanced agro-industrial
sector in Siberia.

Regional businesses generously
providing internships during the fall program include Barnes &
Noble Bookstore in South Burlington; Black River Produce in Proctorsville;
Dartmouth Bookstore in Hanover; Engelberth Construction in Colchester;
Gallagher, Flynn & Company in Burlington; Hannaford Career
Center in Middlebury; Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee; Kirby
Mountain Kennel in East Burke; St. Michaelís School of
International Studies in Colchester; Sound Vision in Burlington;
Vermont Center for Independent Living in Montpelier; Vermont Magazine
in Middlebury; Vermont State Department of Health in Burlington;
and Vermont State Fish Hatchery in Salisbury.

Community Connections is a
nationwide program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency under
the authority of the Fulbright- Hayes Act of 1961. Additional
funding for the Vermont program is provided by the Geonomics Institute,
The Snelling Center for Government, Champlain College, Vermont
businesses, private and government organizations, and individuals.

For more information on the
Community Connections program, please contact Chris Beattie, program
coordinator, at the Geonomics Institute at 802-443-2300.