Manchin: Reconnecting McDowell making progress - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Manchin: Reconnecting McDowell making progress

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WELCH, W.Va. (AP) -- One year into the initiative to revive a long-struggling southern West Virginia county, the Reconnecting McDowell initiative has 110 partners.

State Board of Education Vice President Gayle Manchin says that together, they've made respectable progress in expanding broadband access, literacy programs and health services. They've even help build five new homes.

Educators, government agencies, private companies and nonprofits are all focused on ways to bolster the school system while also addressing chronic problems caused by poverty, drugs and economic decline.

The American Federation of Teachers and helped launch the efforts.

Manchin tells West Virginia Public Broadcasting the efforts so far have just scratched the surface, but it's vital to lay a strong, sustainable foundation for the long-term goals.

She says it's a marathon, not a sprint.

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