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Six West Virginia Communities Selected to Participate in Community Revitalization Initiative

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PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Six West Virginia communities were officially welcomed as FHLBank
Pittsburgh Blueprint Communities® at a ceremony held today in
Bridgeport, West Virginia. Blueprint Communities is a place-based
revitalization initiative created by FHLBank Pittsburgh and administered
in West Virginia by The West Virginia Community Development Hub (The
Hub). The initiative provides training and resources to help local
leaders create sustainable and thriving communities.

Attending today’s ceremony were representatives from each of the newly
selected Blueprint Communities, as well as government officials, local
dignitaries and community development stakeholders. Speakers included
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito; Stephanie Tyree, Executive Director, The
Hub; Lori McKinney, Co-Founder and Director, RiffRaff Arts Collective;
Winthrop Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer, FHLBank
Pittsburgh; and John Bendel, Senior Director of Community Investment,
FHLBank Pittsburgh. Also in attendance were Mara Boggs, State Director
for Senator Joe Manchin, and Dan Neff, District Representative for
Congressman Alex Mooney.

The six selected communities – Kingwood (Preston County), Lewis County,
the Meadow River Valley region (Greenbrier County), the Monticello area
of Clarksburg (Harrison County), New Martinsville (Wetzel County) and
Parsons (Tucker County) – were chosen based on community need, existing
capacity and readiness to participate in the initiative.

“We are excited to welcome these six communities into the Blueprint
Communities initiative,” said Winthrop Watson. “Our goal is to equip
them with the tools necessary to build strong local leadership and the
development capacity to achieve their long-term community vision.”

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Leaders in the chosen communities will engage in a year-long training
program facilitated by The Hub. Community teams are comprised of local
government and organizational leaders, volunteers and representatives
from FHLBank member institutions, including Citizens Bank of Weston,
Citizens Bank of West Virginia, MVB Bank, Summit Community Bank (Summit
Financial Group), Union Bank and WesBanco. Community teams will create a
strategy for comprehensive revitalization that focuses on building
community assets, engaging residents, improving local housing and
attracting new businesses and jobs.

“Blueprint Communities is an opportunity to build strategies that
support visionary projects and initiatives in these participating
communities,” said Kaycie Stushek, The Hub’s Blueprint Communities
Program Coordinator. “The Hub is excited to engage with the
change-makers who will come to the table for this program and continue
building a brighter future for their communities. We are eager to
support new and existing leadership across West Virginia communities.”

Citing the importance of local engagement and partnership across
government, private industry and community organizations, Sen. Capito
noted, “The Blueprint Communities initiative has a proven record of
success over the past 12 years in West Virginia. It has encouraged
collaboration, driven neighborhood renewal and improved community
planning efforts. The training and resources it provides local leaders
support many different aspects of community revitalization – from
housing and jobs to ongoing economic development – and I’m excited to
celebrate the six newest Blueprint Communities recognized here today.”

At the ceremony, each community team was called to the stage and given
an 18-foot banner reading “Proud to be one of West Virginia’s Blueprint
Communities.” The banners will be hung over the main street in each
community. The newly selected communities join three other West Virginia
areas currently participating in the initiative: Bluefield, Princeton
and Richwood. The Blueprint Communities initiative has supported the
development of local leadership, collaboration across sectors and
holistic planning in 16 communities in West Virginia since 2007.

About FHLBank Pittsburgh

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As an intermediary between global capital markets and local lenders,
FHLBank Pittsburgh provides readily available liquidity, as well as
affordable housing and community development opportunities, to member
financial institutions of all sizes in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West
Virginia. The Bank is part of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, which
was established by Congress in 1932 and serves as a reliable source of
funds for housing, jobs and growth in all economic cycles. To learn
more, visit www.fhlb-pgh.com.

About The West Virginia Community Development Hub

The West Virginia Community Development Hub mobilizes residents from all
over the state to spark transformational change and progress in their
communities. Hallmarks of the organization’s work are to spur on fresh
momentum where little exists; to unite the forces of groups that have
not considered – or even resisted – collaboration in the past; and to
champion new, and sometimes unexpected, leaders. Over the past year, The
Hub has worked directly with 27 counties across the state, and one in
five West Virginians have been reached by Hub-related projects. More
information about The Hub’s work and impacts over the past year is
available at wvhub.org.

“Blueprint Communities” is a registered service mark of the Federal
Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.

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Contacts

Richard J. Stimel, FHLBank Pittsburgh, 412-288-7351, [email protected]
Emma
Pepper, The West Virginia Community Development Hub, 304-533-1077, [email protected]


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