Commerce Secretary Kelley Goes Presents Three Blueprint Communities with Special Awards: Revitalization Strategy, Citizen Engagement and Grass Roots Communication Cited
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Commerce Secretary Kelley Goes Presents Three Blueprint Communities with Special Awards: Revitalization Strategy, Citizen Engagement and Grass Roots Communication Cited

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BECKLEY, WV, September 28, 2007 – West Virginia Commerce Secretary Kelley Goes presented special achievement awards to three Blueprint Communities today as leadership teams from ten communities concluded training to help them revitalize their hometowns in a sustainable manner.

Wrapping up months of training at Tamarack Conference Center in Beckley were teams from Ansted, Fairmont-Southside, Gilmer County, McDowell County, Mullens, Ritchie County, St. Albans, Salem, Shinnston and Williamson. These teams were part of the West Virginia Rising event hosted March 12 by Gov. Joe Manchin and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank) at which the ten communities were unveiled as program participants. Localities were chosen for the Blueprint Communities initiative based on their ability to assemble a qualified leadership team representing diverse community interests and plan and implement successful revitalization projects.

“I know the entire State of West Virginia joins me in wholeheartedly congratulating these communities and their leaders on their outstanding accomplishments,” said Gov. Manchin. “Completion of Blueprint Communities training gives these communities a strong leg up in their quest to be the best they can be. Going forward, they will play a critical role in advancing West Virginia’s economic and cultural health as we remain Open for Business and create a climate of greater prosperity for all our people.”

“FHLBank salutes all our program graduates and is pleased to give special recognition to our three Beacon Award winners,” said William G. Batz, chief operating officer of FHLBank Pittsburgh, who had helped kick off Blueprint Communities. “These approximately 100 community leaders have fulfilled and expanded upon their pledge to engage other citizens, assess local needs and plan comprehensively for the future. They are now poised to take the next steps in executing a strategic plan for sustainable growth and tap into potential new sources of technical assistance and coordinated investments. We wish them well.”

Ansted, Mullens and Shinnston cited for outstanding achievement

Today’s recipients of the Blueprint Communities Beacon Awards are:

Ansted: The Sustaining Promise Award: Designing Comprehensive Strategy, presented to the community that best builds on a foundation of local assets, incorporates multiple aspects of the community in its strategic plan and sets down specific goals, time lines and accountabilities for moving that plan forward;

Mullens: The Community Spirit Award: Engaging Citizens, bestowed upon the team that demonstrates a superior commitment to providing opportunities for its citizens to help shape a community plan and encourages new as well as current leadership;

Shinnston: Communication with Clarity Award: Articulating Vision, Goals, Objectives and Measures, given to the community that develops a clear and concise vision and goals, sets down clear and measurable objectives and shares a plan of action that is embraced by a wide array of citizens.

Each Beacon Award winner receives $1,000 from FHLBank and representatives of all ten communities receive a special Proclamation from Gov. Manchin.

The winners were chosen by a panel of five judges at Tamarack: John Bendel of FHLBank Pittsburgh, Sherry Bossie of the West Virginia Housing Development Authority, Mary Hunt-Lieving of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Sandra Mikush of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and David Warner of the West Virginia Economic Development Authority.

Team support to continue

Blueprint Communities involves three sponsors – City National Bank of Charleston, FHLBank Pittsburgh and WesBanco Bank, Inc. – and the following eleven partners: Brushy Fork Institute, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Community Collaborative, Inc., Community Development Partnership of West Virginia, Community Visions Foundation, Heartland Center for Leadership Development, USDA Rural Development, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Charleston Office, West Virginia Department of Commerce, West Virginia Housing Development Fund and the West Virginia University Extension Service.

Participating Blueprint Communities financial institutions include: City National Bank of Charleston, Fayette County National Bank, First Exchange Bank, First National Bank of Williamson, Pioneer Community Bank, United Bank, WesBanco and West Union Bank.

These sponsors, partners and local financial institutions will continue to be available to West Virginia’s ten graduating Blueprint Communities as a source of technical assistance, potential funding or both.

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