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Small Communities, Big Ideas conference connects southern West Virginia


The Herald-Dispatch

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Connection was the name of the game during the two-day, sold-out Small Communities, Big Ideas conference hosted by the Alliance for the Economic Development for Southern West Virginia, the West Virginia Community Development Hub and Coalfield Development Corp.

“This conference was all about celebrating southern West Virginia’s successes, lifting each other up and embracing it,” said Sara Payne Scarbro, associate vice president for external engagement at the Marshall University Research Corp. and chairwoman of the Alliance’s operations council. “And to start having the conversation like, ‘Maybe this program in Bluefield that’s working, maybe I can take it to Gilbert. Or how can we scale it across the region?’ It’s that connecting pieces and to start the collaboration.”

The conference took place Monday and Tuesday at the Bridge Valley Community and Technical School in South Charleston. More than 200 West Virginians participated, including panelists, learning about everything from community revitalization to addiction to broadband internet.

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