BY STEPHANIE TYREE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE HUB
At The Hub, our goal each week is to share with you the incredible stories of resilience, leadership, innovation, grit and creativity that we see underway in communities across the state.
There is a seemingly endless amount of under-sung leaders, new projects and partnerships with huge potential, and models of action demonstrating impact that we try to turn a spotlight on. We are only ever able to showcase a portion of it.
That is why we are so excited to co-host the Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference on October 22-23 at BridgeValley’s Advanced Technology Center in South Charleston, WV. Partnering with the Alliance for Economic Development of Southern West Virginia and Coalfield Development, the conference gives us a chance to celebrate a few of our heroes on a larger stage – we hope with you.
Will you be there with us?
You’ll hear about federal action on broadband and addiction recovery services from Senator Capito and Senator Manchin. Major General Hoyer will be speaking to the myriad of economic development and disaster recovery projects that the National Guard is leading. And dozens of speakers will be sharing resources, models and success stories straight from southern West Virginia on topics ranging from supporting children recovering from trauma, to workforce development, stem and manufacturing, and agricultural development programs.
We’re especially excited about the two community revitalization sessions we’re helping with – and we think you might be too.
Our first session is focused on innovative models of community revitalization based in healthy lifestyles initiatives. Have you heard how the mayors of Smithers and Montgomery started a program to provide free YMCA membership to every person in town? Or how about the $250,000 in mini-grants that the Try This program has distributed to hundreds of projects across the state? Just a couple of examples of innovation focused on building healthy lifestyles as a core element of community development and revitalization.
We have a second session focused on creative placemaking as a core strategy for community revitalization. There are the dozens of large-scale murals they’ve put in place in Princeton, only one small part of a multi-layered innovative strategy for economic development based in creative placemaking. From maker spaces to renovated factories to all types of arts-based events that could be replicated anywhere, the amount of ideas you’ll take from this session can’t be understated.
And we can’t forget the 6 Power of Performance awards we’ll be giving during both days of the conference to groups, individuals and businesses who are blowing everyone’s socks off in southern West Virginia.
The categories are focused on putting people to work, revitalizing communities and changing lives. We had dozens of nominees, just another example of how much innovative work there is to celebrate in southern West Virginia that is solving persistent community challenges.
So join us on the 22nd of October!