Economic forum to be held this week

PARKERSBURG – The Union of Concerned Scientists will hold a forum on West Virginia’s economic future Tuesday and Wednesday at the Clay Center in Charleston.

Called “A Bright Economic Future for the Mountain State,” the form will include state leaders who will discuss their visions for West Virginia in 30 years and successful community leaders.

The forum will include a presentation of “Hollow,” a movie about residents of McDowell County, W.Va., composed of 30 short documentaries created by McDowell County residents and the Hollow production team.

The agenda is:


6-8 p.m., evening reception grand foyer; Keynote address, Jeff Kessler, president, West Virginia Senate; Natalie Tennant, West Virginia secretary of state


8:30-8:35 a.m., welcome and introductory remarks Walker Theater, Jeremy Richardson, Union of Concerned Scientists

8:35-9 a.m., keynote address, Tom Heywood, managing partner, Bowles Rice.

9-10:30 a.m., Panel 1: Visions: West Virginia in 30 Years (90 min) Moderator, Beth Vorhees, West Virginia Public Broadcasting; former U.S. Rep. Alan B. Mollohan; Scott Rotruck, Chesapeake Energy; Anne Barth, executive director, TechConnectWV; Matt Ballard, president/CEO, Charleston Area Alliance.

10-11 a.m., break

11-11:20 a.m., Surprising Support for Economic Diversification. Daniel Gotoff, Partner, Lake Research Partners.

11:20-11:40 a.m., the Proposed West Virginia Future Fund. Ted Boettner, executive director, West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy

11:40-noon, a Roadmap for Sustainable Economic Development in West Virginia. Jeremy Richardson, Union of Concerned Scientists

Noon-1:15 lunch, Grand Foyer. Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

1:15-2:45 p.m., Panel 2: Pathways: Economic Development and Workforce Training Walker Theater. Moderator: Beth Vorhees, West Virginia Public Broadcasting; John Weete, executive director, Auburn Research and Technology Foundation; Keith Burdette, West Virginia secretary of commerce; Kenny Perdue, president, West Virginia AFL-CIO; David Satterfield, interim director, West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, West Virginia University; Charlotte Weber, director and CEO, Robert C. Byrd Institute; James Skidmore, chancellor, West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education.

2:45-3:15 p.m., break

3:15-4:45 p.m., Panel 3: Action: The Sky is the Limit. Moderator, Kent Spellman, executive director, West Virginia Community Development Hub; Chris Yura, founder, SustainU Clothing; Jeff Allen, executive director, West Virginia Council of Churches; Rebecca Randolph, president, Vision Shared; Matt Wender, president, Fayette County Commission; Kristen Barker, Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative.

4:45-5 p.m., Concluding Remarks: What Did We Learn? Kent Spellman, executive director, Community Development Hub

5:30-7 p.m., dinner Grand Foyer

7:30-9 p.m., Public screening, “Hollow” Walker Theater . Elaine McMillion, director and producer; Trey Lockhart, student representative, Reconnecting McDowell; Patrick Corcoran, assistant to the director, McDowell Public Library