Sophia comes together for economic development - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Sophia comes together for economic development

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SOPHIA (WVVA) -- Residents of Sophia spent President's Day planning for economic development at their first Blueprint Community meeting.  This kicked off a year long process they will be going through to grow the economy and capitalize on what they already have.

"We want to make sure we get off to the right start and make sure we find out what common things people are interested in... It's more like a marathon than a sprint," says Carl Marcum, team coach.

"Today's meeting is good to lay the ground work for an agenda throughout the next ten months; to say what it is Sophia needs and wants to do and get an idea from the team and community members of some assessment type items," says Andrea Salina, Director of Community Strategies for the WV Community Development Hub.

Ideas include focusing on natural resources, minimalizing the drug problem and enhancing the railroad system, all to bring visitors back into the community.

"They go away.  They go to places to find something to get into, so we've got to create some things for people to get into around here," says John Fanary, team leader and local business owner.

Sophia will meet again in April at a two day conference with the other 2013 Blueprint communities to exchange ideas and progress, continuing in their year long journey. 

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