SPOTLIGHT: What's Next, Upshur County?
Upshur County's What's Next planning team includes people of diverse ages and geographic locations whose experience levels vary—the executive director of the local development authority and a professor at WV Wesleyan sit together with a volunteer who has never been involved in community work before. The group will hold eight meetings (holy cow!) in elementary schools across the county in March. Each person on the planning team has been assigned one meeting to convene—they then form a small coalition to undertake the planning, outreach, and facilitation work for that particular meeting. Elementary school principals are being engaged to send information home with every student in the schools. When these meetings are finished, the group is convening one large community session in April to set directions for county-wide economic development work, where they intend to provide snacks and babysitting to attract participants. A series of student-led dialogues is also being planned for the WV Wesleyan campus community.