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Building a Vibrant Community

In March, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber was thrilled to have Quint Studer — author of “Building A Vibrant Community” — in town for a workshop and dinner presentation on how we can make Elkins a Vibrant Community.

For nearly a year, many residents have been part of a book study of this book. Over 290 residents from our area gathered to learn from Mr. Studer during the Vibrant Conversation workshop and Vibrant Celebration dinner.

Although the current situation has altered our response to his visit, we ARE working – albeit virtually at this point – to begin the task of creating that vibrant community we desire.

Each week, through this column, we will share information about the book, our response, and the work of the 12 task forces charged with moving our community forward.

In Chapter One of “Building A Vibrant Community”, a question is put to the reader: “What IS a ‘Vibrant’ community?” The author tells us it is a community

• which provides jobs and economic growth

• that is fun to live in

• that provides good schools for children

• a place where young people can find jobs

• a place with safe neighborhoods and a quality life.

The author goes on to remind us that a community is built – it does not just happen. A community is created strategically and intentionally.

A vibrant community is built by the citizens. People who want something more for their children and grandchildren. People who are willing to look at data objectively, willing to step forward and make a difference, willing to become mentors, willing to make local investments, willing to create opportunities.

It is built by citizens who, overall, are willing to promote the positives for a better community. While government has a role, government cannot solve big problems… and shouldn’t. It is locals working together that creates a vibrant community.

Is there a process to creating a vibrant community? Yes! Try something, record the process, document the findings, tweak the process, and repeat successes.

Building a vibrant community takes time. It does not happen overnight. It will take years. However, it happens because of intentional efforts. There will be wins and there will be things that just don’t work out. But through community effort, we CAN become a Vibrant Community!

Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of “Building A Vibrant Community” available to those who are interested.

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