9/26/2013 3:34 PM
by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - Volunteers from as many as five southern West Virginia communities gathered to discuss available resources to help revitalize their rural towns.
Representatives from Bluefield, Princeton, Hinton and Sophia have been accessing the needs of their towns for months, but on Thursday they discussed what tools are available to boost their economy, beautify their town, increase tourism and encourage civic engagement.
"By getting a lot of different ideas because we all come from different backgrounds and different businesses and know what our struggles and problems are as business owners to make things happen," Sophia representative Steve Framer told WOAY.
Officials at the meeting said declining coal revenue has created a transition period for the region. They hope sharing input will make it easier for the volunteers to make progress.
"Bringing them together in one place on a regular basis allows us to deliver information and train more easily, but also allows them to support one another, encourage one another and learn from one another," said Kent Spellman of the Community Development Hub.
The last of the workshops is set for Nov. 21 at Tamarack.