HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Hundreds of people from around the state have come to Huntington for the Third Annual Create West Virginia Conference.
The three-day event landed here thanks to Create Huntington, a local group of people in the community.
The conference has attracted people from all walks of life throughout West Virginia.
“We have students, we have artisans, we have government officials, we have educators, we have business people, economic development people, so it’s anyone who is concerned with and wants to see the state of West Virginia be successful,” meeting organizer Julie Hewett said.
For the first time, this conference is in a living, breathing, creating community.
“We’re going to be putting people on a bus and taking them throughout the city of Huntington and actually showing them some of the projects we’ve been able to accomplish in the last year and a half, like the weed and seed, Marshall and St. Mary’s,” Hewett said.
The most popular presentation on Sunday appeared to be the “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” workshop. The room was packed.
“I know that green jobs aren’t going to solve all of our problems, but I think it’s a part, and it’s a compelling solution to a lot of problems the state faces,” Ted Boettner from the WV Center on Budget & Policy said.
Green jobs are part of the “New Economy” Create West Virginia is after. It’s an economy where industries use people’s innovative ideas rather than relying on the status quo.
“It’s about diversifying our workforce here," Boettner said. "It’s about creating jobs that are good paying. Also it’s about looking at innovation, what innovative practices can we amplify here in West Virginia, what kind of entrepreneurial spirit can we bring out in the green economy.”
The Green Jobs presentation is just one of many on the agenda that gets those gears turning.
“It’s like investing, and saving energy creates opportunities to do retro-fits for buildings and homes and businesses and so forth that can put a lot of people to work,” Mike Harman, a conference attendee, said.
“That is part of the core of what this conference is about, looking at creative ways that we can develop our economy and with that, jobs,” Hewett said.
Jobs that may not even exist yet but could very well be created because of the ideas shared at this conference.
Create Huntington is hosting a Chat n' Chew Monday at 5 p.m. at the Fredrick Hotel in downtown Huntington. Everyone is welcome to attend and share their ideas.
You can also attend the conference by showing up to register. It continues through Tuesday at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
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