A new study called Strengtheing Economic Reslience in Appalachia, has come out identifying factors across communities that are experiencing persistent economic growth in the aftermath of the 2008 Recession and other economic issues.
The research includes key factors that are common to economic resilience as well as a guide book featuring ten communities that have rebounded after experiencing some of those economic problems.
“They looked at the economic down turn and saw which counties came back the quickest. They studied counties across the country and compared them to appalachia and did case studies of ten counties,” said Professor of Economics, Bethany College, Dr. Wilfrid Csaplar Jr.
Some strategies the study looked at was:
1. Investing in education, technology, infastructure, and broadband
2. Engaging the community over the long-term
3. Growing youth engagement and next generation leadership
4. Identifying and growing the assets in the community and region
5. Building networks and fostering collaboration
6. Moving multiple sectors forward for economic development and growing value chains
7. Cultivating entrepreneurs and developing resources for business start-ups
According to the study the most resilient counties in West Virginia are Doddridge, Monogalia, and Taylor.
Even though Ohio county wasn’t on this list Mayor Elliott said the city of Wheeling is having huge economic development.. especially in their downtown area.
“When you look across the state we really are at the beginning of a period of economic growth in West Virginia and in the city of Wheeling. You’re looking not only at oil and gas economy, you’re seeing efforts to diversify the economy kind of taking root,” said Mayor of Wheeling, Glenn Elliott. “We’re getting people moving back to our town after many years away. So things are happening. It’s incumbant on us to kind of take the reins here and actually steer that development where it needs to be.”