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Building a ‘thriving’ Vibrant Community

There is big difference between a community which is “surviving” and one that is “thriving.” The surviving community is getting by; one business closes and another one opens; a family leaves and another moves in. The surviving community is stagnate.

A thriving community is growing. Three businesses open for every one that closes; more people are moving in than moving out. There is community excitement and optimism. The thriving community is vibrant!

On March 5, 100 people spent a day with Quint Studer to discuss Elkins-Randolph County as a vibrant community. That same evening more than 200 people attended the Chamber banquet to continue the discussion. Task Forces were formed to carry out initiatives. Excitement was high and people were energized. A thriving, vibrant community plan was being developed.

Then COVID-19 hit. As one person commented, Elkins-Randolph County moved from a focus on community development to individual and business survival. Everyone and every business had to make modifications and adjustments just to survive in the moment.

While there continues to be something new to learn every day, it is time to start thinking and planning for the future of Elkins-Randolph County.

The Task Forces from last March have been revised and now have three major areas of focus. The first area is Education which is comprised of three Task Forces. Early Brain Development highlights activities from birth through high school to ensure education tools are present for our children to excel. Civic IQ engages the public in both governmental and business education. Measurement quantifies progress being made in the community.

The second focus area is Downtown and Business. The Development Task Force assists the opening of new businesses, helps existing businesses expand and attracts new businesses to the area. Programing looks at activities and events for both locals and tourists in Elkins and/or Randolph County. Transportation & Water looks at traffic flow and Tygart River development in Elkins.

The third area is Promotion. Elkins-Randolph County has much to offer. The Optimization Task Force will highlight what already exists. Messaging will coordinate community activities as well as promote the area. The Attitude/Culture Task Force promotes a positive attitude as well as creates a safe environment for residents and guests.

Would you like to become involved with planning and getting ready for the spring of 2021? A free Vibrant Refresher will be held on Wednesday Oct. 21 from 12-1 p.m. through a zoom video conference call. Everyone is welcome. Email Lisa Wood at Lisa.Wood@erccc.com Lisa will send you the link for the meeting.

Thriving is much more fun than surviving. Join the conversation and become part of an exciting future!

This article follows the concepts outline in a book entitled “Building a Vibrant Community” written by Quint Studer. Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of the book available to those who are interested.

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