Higher Education Presidents Unite to Unveil the Alliance for the Economic Development for Southern West Virginia

Jan. 8, 2018
For Immediate Release

Higher Education Presidents Unite to Unveil the Alliance for the Economic Development for Southern West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Presidents and representatives from the 10 public higher education institutions have announced the Alliance for the Economic Development for Southern West Virginia (Alliance), a joint venture between West Virginia’s 10 southern colleges and universities to better connect the educational resources and workforce training offered in Southern West Virginia to promote the region, eliminate redundancies and share best practices, improve the quality of life for area residents, create jobs and revitalize southern communities.

The partner institutions include: Bluefield State College, BridgeValley Community and Technical College, Concord University, Marshall University, Mountwest Community & Technical College, New River Community and Technical College, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia State University and West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

“The Alliance is a collection of some of the best minds in higher education in our state. Together we are using our collective expertise and resources to improve the educational attainment, quality of life, and upward mobility of our deserving citizens," said WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins. "We understand that this initiative is not a catalyst for self-promotion of our respective institution, rather we endeavor to use this collaboration for the betterment of our citizens and the great state of West Virginia. This is my purpose, and; thus why I am pleased to help lead this effort."

The Alliance’s main goal is to learn about all of our existing resources, in regards to education services, workforce training, the talent pool, all available business sites, and the willing partners in Southern West Virginia and promote and utilize these resources in a meaningful way that creates jobs, enhances our state’s business sector and competitive edge, ensures our workers have access to the latest training and technology, builds long-lasting partnerships and ultimately revitalizes our small Southern West Virginia communities.

The Alliance is focused on a 21-county area, including Boone, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Putnam, Raleigh, Summers, Wayne, Webster, and Wyoming counties.

The Alliance will focus on fostering an environment for economic growth, through various initiatives. In order to grow the regional economy, the Alliance must identify and implement solutions to tackle the current challenges facing quality of life issues in the Alliance’s 21 county area, like public health, livable communities and education issues. The Alliance will also work to build partnerships among local economic development organizations, the public educational institutions and the state. The Alliance will leverage its individual partner resources to create a master matrix of the educational, business and land resources offered in Southern West Virginia. Throughout the year, the Alliance will offer various events and workshops, like fighting the opioid epidemic, easing the transition to higher education, expanding broadband, fostering entrepreneurship and building local coalitions by pooling our resources, talent and expertise at the higher education level.  

This Alliance represents more than 30,000 students who are currently working on obtaining various degrees, from Associate to Doctorate.
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