As the largest council of governments in Maine, Kennebec Valley Council of Governments (KVCOG) covers 67 municipalities across Kennebec, Somerset, and western Waldo counties. The nonprofit organization focuses on local and regional economic development and planning as well as supports and expands capacity of local government. KVCOG is able to work with town leaders to solve problems, access resources, save money, streamline services, and provide passthrough funding at a regional level.
KVCOG’s Community Resilience Program provides social supportive infrastructure to related issues and/or public health initiatives, including efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The organization has even highlighted the importance of DEI throughout its most recent Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), especially as it relates to population stabilization and economic development for municipalities across the region.
Some current efforts include promoting DEI with municipalities, partnering with Dirigo Labs on workforce diversity, specifically focusing on new businesses implementing policies that will recruit and retain diverse workers, and designing a program that convenes municipal leaders to provide them with the space and opportunity to discuss DEI, especially in regards to the optics for members of traditionally marginalized communities who may be exploring the region for relocation. Additionally, KVCOG recently received a planning grant to convene a small group for program development for a diversity initiative.