What We AreA monthly internet video series offered by Virginia Tech's Outreach and International Affairs to guide and inspire leaders throughout Appalachia who are working hard to create prosperity in their towns.
Fincastle, Virginia, hadn’t changed its boundaries since 1772. But when elected leaders first attempted to expand acreage and population a few years ago, the effort stumbled. Can they create enough unity to bring growth to the town of about 300 people?
Up-and-comers in Wytheville, Virginia, weren’t happy with how things were playing out at Town Hall. This younger generation of leaders made their voices heard and are changing the face of downtown.
In Southside Virginia, the departure of textile manufacturers and other industries devastated communities including Danville. There, city leaders decided to take drastic action. They aggressively invested in workforce training and also found ways to make the Dan River a key part of a reimagined downtown.
Emergency responders couldn’t get to some residents fast enough to prevent deaths during the devastating floods in 2016, and city leaders in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, weren’t prepared to cope with catastrophe. But city hall mobilized to deal with 75 destroyed homes and other devastation.
Save Our Towns goes high above the mountains to see an aerial view of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. But first, the Example of Awesome story comes from Bedford, the first town in Virginia to devote public land to a solar farm. See how its commitment to renewable energy is paying off.
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