A Look Back: VSJF Impact Report FY2020–2021
December 10, 2022
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) releases the VSJF Impact Report FY2020-2021.
In 1995, a group of forward-thinking leaders founded the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF). They understood the importance of helping our human and natural environments thrive together then and for future generations.They saw the 21st century on the horizon and understood the new challenges and opportunities that would come with it.
We’re grateful for their investment in the future.
Over the past 27 years, we’ve developed a level of expertise in assessing and making sense of complex systems that make up the economic sectors in which we work. And our work approaching issues from a systems level remains more important than ever in the wake of a global pandemic, accelerating climate change, and growing recognition of societal inequities.
Read about our efforts during 2020–2021 to adapt to and address these challenges, and how we’ve capitalized on new opportunities, including:
- Assisting former and current business coaching clients as they navigated rapidly changing circumstances during the early months of the pandemic, and reemerged financially and operationally stronger
- Pivoting our DeltaClimeVT business accelerator to a virtual format, which helped us attract a more diverse cohort of climate technology companies and allowed us to continue running the program through COVID-19 shutdowns
- Assisting forest products businesses with communications and marketing to raise their online profiles so they could attract new customers during the pandemic
- Crafting and launching the 2021–2030 Agriculture & Food System Strategic Plan, and releasing the 2010–2020 Farm to Plate Retrospective, which allowed us to both review the changes that took place over the past 10 years, and look ahead at what still needs to be accomplished
- Addressing supply chain issues and increasing access to local food through the Independent Grocers Project
Like many white-led organizations, we have double-downed on the importance of embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as organizational core values. In 2021, we engaged in training and reflection with Abundant Sun so that we could consider how best to intentionally lead our work from these values—whether through our direct services to businesses, our sector specific programs, our organizational policies and procedures, our hiring and procurement practices, or in the public policy spheres within which we interact.
Two years after the world shifted, we have taken stock of our efforts, and in doing so, have gained a new perspective on what we do best. We have always felt our work in the agricultural, forest products, and climate technology sectors is important, but the pandemic helped us better understand the impact we have made and the work that still lies ahead.
We have emerged from these challenges more focused, with a financially sound future, and with an even greater commitment to the work we will do in the years to come.
We are deeply grateful for your support in helping the people and environment of Vermont thrive together.
Click here to read the full report. The above originally appeared as a letter from Ellen Kahler, VSJF Executive Director.
About The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) is a nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the sustainable development of Vermont’s economy. VSJF provides business assistance, network development, strategic planning, and value chain facilitation in agriculture and food system, forest product, waste management, renewable energy, and environmental technology sectors. The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to partner with state government, private sector businesses, and nonprofits to build a thriving economic, social, and ecological future for Vermont.