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Facilitating Community Discussions Webinar
September 20 at 2 PM
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Senate President Jeff Kessler, along with other state lawmakers, are coming together to focus on the economic challenges and opportunities in the southern coalfileds of West Virginina. The aim of this task force is to bring residents and leaders together to envision a revitalized and diversified economy. The initiative is made up of a series of listening sessions which are meant to give people the opportunity for a productive discussion. After the...Read more
This August, What's Next hit the road to bring regional workshops to Buckhannon, Martinsburg, Beckley, Charleston, and Wheeling. Attendance was tremendous, swelling the rooms where people received training, discussed the future, and started planning for the conversations that will begin rolling out in communities across the state this fall. Along the way,...Read more
What did you think about tonight’s conversation?
I think I realized the power of promotion. Everyone gets on social media and blobs and they talk about themselves and their project and they say well we need more people to know about what we’re doing. Something changed for me after the Create WV Conference, and I’ll tell you more about why I’m talking about that in a moment. It was a world-class gathering. It was fantastic. I was overly impressed with it. And every day I did a post about what happened there, the connections that were made, the people who...Read more
What brought you here?
I came here because I heard about it through Twitter. I follow the City of Huntington. I run one of the school’s media pages on Twitter. So I saw it through that. And I also heard about it through my Government teacher. He encouraged us all to come.
What did you think?
I think it’s very hopeful. I think everybody who came here really and truly does want to make a change. I think people really want to see things happen. And I think really action is going to be made. I can see it. I can feel it. It’s not...Read more
As a planning team member, how do you think it went tonight?
Expectation-wise, it probably exceeded our expectations. We had really good turnout. We were a little concerned about a lot of griping, but the forums took a really positive view. The fact that the high schoolers came out was huge. That contributes so much. We’re talking about the future and they are the future.
What did you talk about?
We had a hard time separating the eight main topics that we took out of the last forum. And I think every group did because they’re so...Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released state-by-state Made in Rural America reports that "highlight specific USDA investments in rural businesses, manufacturing, energy, water and other infrastructure development," says the USDA. The purpose of these projects is to strengthen local economies and expand opportunities...Read more
Could civic engagement be a key to economic development? In a story for the Huffington Post, Peter Levine discusses a study that explored the connection between civic engagement and a community's economic well-being. A key finding: “The more civic engagement, the less unemployment.” The study identified volunteering, group membership and attending meetings as valuable forms of civic engagement, among other activities. The report ends by stating that there is "plausibility to the thesis that civic health matters for economic resilience." You can read the...Read more
Still in the early growth stage, a new economy is taking shape in North-Central West Virginia—research and technology. The I-79 Technology Park is now home to high tech facilities operated by the FBI, NASA, and NOAA, and the Department of Defense, fueling economic growth in nearby cities and counties. Some,...Read more
One of the purposes of this website (and the What's Next discussion guide) is to provide you with a snapshot of WV's economy, both historically and in the present, so you have the information you need as you talk and weigh potential actions to strengthen your local economy. Among the more...Read more
To really envision and create the economic future we want for WV, it's going to take collaboration and a multitude of megaphones--Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media are some of the tools you can use to help spread the message. One way you can do that is to download this...Read more
As word spreads across the state about What's Next, WV?, several of WV's major newspapers have taken up their editorial pens in support of this initiative and the ideas behind it--namely, that West Virginians themselves have a role to play in determining their own economic future. The Charleston Daily Mail perhaps said it...Read more
"Talkline" is a two hour call-in portrait of West Virginia, conducted by one of the state’s best known broadcasters, Hoppy Kercheval. On Aug. 18, Hoppy sat down with Betty Knighton, Director of...