West Virginia – Wired and Wonderful?

AT THE STONEWALL RESORT IN ROANOKE, WV — Yr hmbl correspondent took the bait and is sitting in for a couple of days at the Create WV conference, (as posted about in this space before). Of course, due to the peculiar geography of the Mountain State, any East-West travel invariably means as much time out of the state as in it. Interesting day, so far. Among the tidbits gleaned on the fly:

*Interesting comparison by Charleston WV land-use attorney and Historic Preservation specialist Mark Sadd between the Republic of Ireland and West Virginia. His point: The both have about the same geographic area, homogeneous population, attractive natural resources, Only….Ireland in the last twenty years has transformed itself from economic laughingstock to high-tech hub. Can WV do the same? Thought-provoking.

*On the other hand…WV ranks 52nd (behind Puerto Rico and D.C.) in the percentage of population aged 25-34 with an Associate’s Degree or higher (e.g., two years of college). A measly 29 per cent. The US average is ten points higher (39%), and in Canada it’s 53%. Sobering. This courtesy of an address by Southern Technology Council chief Scott Doron.

*New Euphemism: It’s no longer called “coal mining;” West Virginia specializes in “extraction industries.”

*More on the conference in the next post. The Create WV blogspot is here.

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