Join others across West Virginia who are talking and working together to strengthen local economies.
WHAT IS IT?
What’s Next, West Virginia? is a series of conversations that will take place in communities all over the state in the coming year. These conversations are designed to encourage talking, thinking, and actions based on West Virginians’ own ideas for building a more vibrant and diverse economy. The effort is being organized by the WV Center for Civic Life, the WV Community Development Hub, and a broad--and growing--coalition of partners from nonprofit, philanthropic, governmental, educational, and faith-based organizations.
You!—community groups, businesses, schools, government agencies, faith groups, volunteer organizations, elected officials.
All of us who care about and want to set directions for the economic future of our communities in WV.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Much work is already underway across WV to strengthen local economies. What’s Next, WV? is designed to connect work that’s already happening and bring new people into the fold. Here’s how it works.
1. The WV Center for Civic Life will help local organizers get started with orientation and materials. (Sign up to organize a discussion in your community.)
2. Organizers plan conversations in their local communities, aiming for diverse participation.
3. Conversations (we recommend three at minimum) are held in local communities, focusing on three questions: Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
4. People start taking action and doing the work, with some coaching and assistance from What’s Next, WV? partners.
5. Stories are captured and shared so we can learn from each others’ work. (Share your story.)
WEBINAR: Facilitating Community Discussions
What's Next, West Virginia? FAQ
Where did the idea for the What’s Next, Huntington? forums come from?
Conversations started with regional workshops sponsored by WV Center for Civic Life, related to economic growth in Huntington. A steering committee formed of at least 30 community stakeholders started talking about the forums. This committee is composed of United Way of the River Cities, The City of Huntington, the Urban Renewal Authority, the Cabell County Board of Education and others. These partners have been encouraged from the beginning to start local conversations about Huntington’s economic growth.
Why did the City of Huntington get involved in planning these discussions on Huntington’s economy?
Several ongoing redevelopments projects are taking place in the City, including: River to Rail, Fairfield West Redevelopment/Northcott Court and Potential Highlawn Development. We are also working on the Land Bank project, which is the only one in the state and is new legislation. This is driven by several local partnerships. Plan 2025 is another project that is the vision for the City’s future going forward.
Are the two sessions the same (the 22nd and 29th)?
There are two different sessions, both at Huntington High School. Each will address different subjects. The one tomorrow, Jan. 22, will address the questions, “Where have we been?” and “Where are we now?” These will form the beginning strategies to address economic growth strengths and weaknesses in Huntington. This forum will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The second forum will pose the questions, “Where do we want to go?” and “How do we get there?” This forum will be Jan. 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
How do you think the information collected at the forums can help the city?
Information collected will give The City of Huntington and its partners a more clear direction on moving forward so we can address the needs of the community. Specifically, with the Land Bank project, this will help us address the redevelopment of vacant lots. The City will be able to work with residents to form creative ideas for rehabilitation.
Who should attend the forums?
We encourage everyone to attend because economic growth affects all of us. If you can’t make it to one forum, that’s OK. You can attend only one forum if that fits more into your schedule. In order to find solutions to some of our most pressing economic problems, we need your input to move forward. If you are interested in What’s Next, Huntington?, learn more about the statewide initiative at www.whatsnextwv.org
or call United Way of the River Cities at 304-523-8929.