Addison County Information
Addison County is a diverse and beautiful place to live, work, and play. In addition to lakes, valley, and mountains, we are home to one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the world; one of the largest cheese production facilities; a community hospital; an aerospace manufacturer; environmental engineering and remediation firms; an electronic medical devices manufacturer; wood-crafted toys and games; organic soaps; and specialty craft beer and hard cider, to name a few of the many types of companies and organizations located here. We also have a highly creative community, with an opera house, a theater, art galleries, concerts of all kinds, and we host Vermont’s annual Chili Festival! The common denominator is excellence within each business’s respective niche.
Agriculture continues to be a big part of our economy. Farms are more diversified, and include livestock and vegetables as well as dairy. Addison County is the number one county in Vermont in terms of the market value of agricultural production. The interest in local food for both institutional and personal consumption has opened new markets locally and out of state.
Living and working in Addison County is a joy for so many reasons, all of which come down to quality of life. It is a wonderful place to work and raise a family.
The school systems are excellent from pre-K through post-secondary. There are several private school options in addition to the public schools. We are also home to one of Vermont’s 12 technical centers, which offers programs in, among other things, industrial design and fabrication, engineering and architectural design, and CADD.
Middlebury is home to one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation, Middlebury College, and this brings with it rich cultural and intellectual opportunities as well as exciting sports events. In addition, Community College of Vermont has a location in Middlebury and offers classes of all kinds.
Ninety percent of the population aged 25 and older are high school graduates or higher.
Addison County is known for having a strong workforce with a variety of different skills. For example, we have several different types of engineering firms in the county, ranging from Goodrich Aerospace to environmental engineering and remediation firms and an electronic medical devices manufacturer. With engineering schools nearby at UVM and Dartmouth, in addition to RPI and RIT in New York, there are numerous sources for hiring.
Easy access to local and town officials. Most Select Boards have the ability to make special arrangements with businesses as appropriate. You can access the Constitution of the State of Vermont online here.
There is a wide range of housing available for everyone from first-time home buyers to those who are looking for larger homes . Costs will obviously vary by town and type of house.
Addison County Transit Resources provides regional bus service both within the county (Bristol, Middlebury, Vergennes) and to Burlington and Rutland.
The variety and extent of recreational opportunities is almost unlimited. There is something to do all four seasons. For much of the year, walking, hiking, biking, running, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, horseback riding, golf, tennis, and camping are options. In the winter, there is skiing (downhill and cross-country), snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and hockey. We have thousands of acres of Green Mountain National Forest and numerous campgrounds. Organized sports, outings and races abound, including half-marathons and triathlons. Fishing, birding and hunting are also available.
Other Quality of Life Considerations
Excellent Medical and Healthcare Options, ranging from Porter Medical Center (hospital, rehab center, nursing home), numerous physicians, mental health practitioners, and “alternative” medical and therapeutic practitioners.
“Green is good” has become a mantra of the region. Middlebury College continues to be a strong leader by example. They have retrofitted their power plant to burn bio-fuels rather than petroleum products and they are supporting research to identify alternative crops for the needed biomass. Additionally, we are seeing growth in established businesses focusing on environmental remediation and new green technologies. Multiple groups and organizations are collaborating to assist this new emerging sector. There have been three Addison County Green Energy Expos held in Middlebury to support local businesses and educate the public. We have a local energy coop for purchasing energy such as wood pellets, and the coop offers an educational series to the public.
Focus on Buying Local
Strong farmer’s markets, local food coop. Agricultureremains a big part of our economy. In fact, the number of farms actually increased from 2002 to 2007, the most recent census. Farms are more diversified, with livestock and vegetables as well as dairy. We continue to see the ingenuity of our area farms as they develop new value-added products (cheese, bio-fuel, etc.), to gain greater diversity in their income streams and a better return on their raw products. The interest in local food for both institutional and personal consumption has opened new markets locally and out of state.
Arts and Entertainment
Middlebury is home to the Town Hall Theater, which offers a wide variety of local and touring plays, musical shows, and even simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera and London shows. The county also houses the Vergennes Opera House, a movie theater, concerts and performances at Middlebury College, a variety of music series (After Dark, Festival on the Green), and musical performances in coffee houses and restaurants. Bristol and Vergennes offer a variety of special events from French Heritage Days to local outdoor bands on the town green in the summer. Middlebury also has a monthly “Arts Walk” in and around the downtown.
In short, we have it all right here! Wonderful, vibrant communities, great schools, recreation, healthcare, local food, a creative culture, and a small town feel with lots of intelligent, interesting people.