WEST VIRGINIA (WTRF) — As many as five federal agencies came together today to discuss ways in which rural communities can revitalize their energy economies.

The event included a panel discussion on how these communities can access federal resources and programs that are available in areas where coal has been a major industry.

The goal is to help strengthen rural business and create jobs in these areas.

Event organizers say it’s vital for communities to know how to access these resources.

“A lot of time folks don’t know what they don’t know. That a program is out there that can partially help bring a project to fruition. So, it’s very important that we make retail connections with folks and we come out and provide information and the details on how to apply and what’s available to make them successful.”

– Gayle Manchin – Federal Co-chair, of the Appalachian Regional Commission

“So this was an opportunity for us to come into the area and bring people together and just talk about things that we have done but more importantly how we can do it better in the future.”

– Ryan Thorn – State Director of USDA Rural Development

Over 100 representatives from local businesses as well as community leaders attended today’s event.