Celebrating southern West Virginia successes is the focus of the Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference, which also provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to network and connect with government officials, their colleagues, community leaders as well as higher education experts.
The Alliance for the Economic Development for Southern West Virginia, the West Virginia Community Development Hub and Coalfield Development teamed up to host the inaugural, jam-packed conference in October 2018, with more than 200 West Virginians participating over the two-day period at BridgeValley’s Advanced Technology Center in South Charleston.
Among the topics discussed by federal, state and local leaders were community revitalization, addiction and reentry, workforce development, education, diversity, manufacturing and innovation, broadband, children’s services and poverty solutions.
“The focus of this conference is to get people talking to each other, sharing ideas and celebrating southern West Virginia successes,” said Sara Payne Scarbro, chair of the Alliance ‘s Operations Council. “We can’t overcome obstacles in a vacuum. Having a regional perspective and working together will take us to new heights.”
Attendees included business leaders, educators, community leaders and public officials. Based on an attendee survey, more than 97% of the respondents made new connections and learned something. An astounding 94% said that they would be likely to promote the next Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference!
Other findings include:
- The majority of respondents want to stay connected.
- All respondents thought the audience size was just right or wanted to grow the numbers even more.
- The top issues for respondents included:
- Business and Workforce Development;
- Addiction, Recovery and Reentry; and,
- Higher Education.
If you are interested in participating on a panel or attending the next conference, please complete this form.