RUTLAND — BalanceWorks of Rutland has received a $25,000 Regional Economic Development Grant sought by Rutland Economic Development Corp. (REDC) and provided by the State of Vermont.
“Investment spurred by the grant will create two new jobs in the region and increase productivity at BalanceWorks through the purchase of a 3-D printer, software, technical support, and other equipment and supplies,” said Lyle Jepson, executive director of REDC.
“Recent improvements in 3-D printing technology have brought the cost of sophisticated printing and imaging equipment within reach of a growing small business,” Jepson said. “This new equipment will allow BalanceWorks to meet the increased demand for its custom foot orthotics and shoe customization.”
REDC applied for the grant on behalf of BalanceWorks owner David Goodspeed, a certified pedorthist.
“BalanceWorks combines 21st century technology with the craftsmanship and experience of a three-generation Rutland family business,” Goodspeed said. “We’ve seen steady growth in demand for custom shoes and orthotics, and to continue providing high-quality, timely, local service to our customers, we need to invest in equipment and product development that will make us more efficient. This grant allows us to do that.”
In a letter of support for the application, Rutland City Mayor Christopher Louras praised the fact that the grant will support job growth in the City while serving the entire region with necessary care. “BalanceWorks has developed a unique product that will provide comfort and restorative care to a divergent local and regional customer base,” Louras said. “They have combined Vermont ingenuity with the benefits of technological advances to provide a special product at a cost effective, affordable price point.”
Rutland Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Brennan Duffy also supported the project. Duffy noted that the markets for advanced manufacturing and high-tech, high-quality health care services are expected to grow. “As a Rutland-based business located close to training facilities for workforce development and to a national award-winning regional hospital, BalanceWorks is poised for significant business growth,” Duffy said.
Jepson noted that the project builds on two existing strengths for the region, advanced manufacturing and health care. “BalanceWorks will hire and train workers to conduct CAD manipulation and to oversee printer operations. They will work collaboratively with a licensed pedorthist, who works with patients to ensure proper fit.”
Sen. Kevin Mullin is chair of the Senate Economic Development, General & Housing Committee said. “The Regional Economic Development grants are a great opportunity for small businesses to create jobs and grow our economy,” Mullin said. “We congratulate REDC for their efforts to bring forward two very worthy applications that we were pleased to fund.”
Jepson said a second grant to a Rutland-area business will be announced in a few weeks, and thanked members of the committee that awarded the grants: Sen. Kevin Mullin of Rutland, Rep. William Botzow of Bennington, Department of Buildings and General Services Commissioner Michael Obuchowski, and Kiersten Bourgeois of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
Regional Economic Development Grants are available to regional development corporations, municipalities and nonprofits to create job growth and improvements to buildings and community facilities and requires a 1:1 matching investment. For more information about this opportunity, contact Lyle Jepson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-770-7060.
For more information about BalanceWorks located at 79 Cleveland Avenue, visit www.balanceworks.biz, or call 802-773-1543.