BY KAYCIE STUSHEK, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT NETWORK COORDINATOR, THE HUB
The time has come! We are excited to share the six communities who will be beginning the next round of the Blueprint Communities initiative in West Virginia.
Working with their communities beginning at the end of May, teams from the following areas will take part in a year-long process to create a strategy to build community assets, engage residents, overcome challenges, and attract new investment to the area.
- Kingwood (Preston County);
- Lewis County;
- Meadow River Valley region (Greenbrier County);
- Monticello neighborhood of Clarksburg (Harrison County);
- New Martinsville (Wetzel County); and
- Parsons (Tucker County)
Blueprint Communities® is a place-based revitalization initiative created by Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank) and administered in West Virginia by the team at The Hub.
When our team visited these communities during the application process, each of the community members showed up with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and work hard. They recognized the need to collaborate with each other, learn from the members of their community, tackle their challenges, and highlight their local assets in order to attract opportunities.
We are excited to learn and grow and strategize alongside these community members, who have already been dedicating time and energy to make the places they live, the places they love. Each team in each community mentioned that the greatest benefits of the program they were looking to use were the technical resources brought to the table, and the fact that it made them focus on priorities and lay out a game plan.
The newly selected communities join three other West Virginia areas currently participating in the initiative: Bluefield, Princeton, and Richwood.
The initiative not only supports teams to build a step-by-step strategy, but also provides the training and connections to resources needed to help local leaders create sustainable and thriving communities. Teams are made up of community residents; members of local and regional organizations; local government officials; FHLBank member institution partners; and others.
The Blueprint Communities initiative has supported the development of local leadership, collaboration across sectors and holistic planning in 16 communities in West Virginia since 2007.
Sign up for our email list to follow along with the progress in each of these communities, and if you are a resident in any of the selected communities, follow your local press to receive information to attend your community-based kickoff of the program in July.
“Blueprint Communities” is a registered service mark of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.