[Tucker County, West Virginia] – Tucker County officials announced today that they will partner with representatives from Smart Growth America June 11-12, 2019 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. This workshop seeks to provide local officials and community leaders with the necessary strategies to help position Tucker County for long-term economic growth and revitalization.
“Receiving this workshop is a testament to Tucker County’s forward thinking and visionary leadership,” said John Robert Smith, Senior Policy Advisor at Smart Growth America. “Tucker County should be very proud to be included as one of just six communities across the country participating in the program. We’re excited to work with community leaders to help leverage broadband Internet access to generate economic prosperity and county revitalization.”
Broadband—fast, reliable Internet service—is a critical piece of the digital puzzle for communities trying to find their place in the 21st-century economy. Many rural counties like Tucker County are actively seeking new opportunities to drive economic growth but may not be certain how to expand and leverage existing high-speed service to achieve their goals.
Broadband access can help communities revitalize their downtowns and attract and retain a new generation of workers. Retirees and younger Americans are looking for places to live that are affordable, walkable, and offer a high quality of life, something that many smaller cities and towns across the country have the potential to offer. Businesses need fast and reliable connection speeds to process payments and orders, participate in online commerce, and stay competitive in an increasingly interconnected and online economy. Anchor institutions in communities like schools and hospitals also need a reliable connection. But how to fully leverage broadband access to achieve its full potential for economic development and downtown revitalization is often misunderstood. The workshop will focus on these issues.
“Our ability to effectively access and use the internet is a key component to the economic viability of Tucker County. Our children need it for their education, our workforce needs it for business efficiency and competitiveness, our visitors demand it to remain connected, and collectively we all need it to improve our overall quality of life!” — Tucker County Commission.
Tucker County residents will be invited to join the workshop’s first evening on June 11th for an introductory presentation on planning for economically and fiscally sustainable communities. An announcement of the time and location will be forthcoming.
The program, made possible through a Rural Community Development Initiative Grant awarded to Smart Growth America by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.