Early one morning this past January, two Clay County school busses pulled up at the state capitol complex in Charleston. Inside were members of the group “What’s Next, Clay County?”, one of twenty-five communities across the state that is organizing to strengthen their local economy as a part of the “What’s Next, WV?” initiative.
Over seventy people attended their first community meeting last fall—not a small feat in a community of their size. They chose five areas to focus their work: youth and education; infrastructure; small business; drugs; and cleaning up trash and dilapidated properties.
Since then, they realized they would need outside help to accomplish all they have set out to do, so they set off for a day at the capitol. This is a story about a small, rural community fighting for a brighter economic future for their families and neighbors.