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. MichaelĂ­s 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.