Three were awarded scholarships and since then five more have been awarded the scholarships, said Reverend Charles McCollum, president of the Roanoke Valley Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
From that meeting an idea was born to explore how to enhance economic opportunities within the Roanoke Valley, McCollum said in a recent interview.
That idea will manifest itself in the form of an August 26 economic summit called Creating Healthy & Wealthy Communities: Helping Community Leaders Create Wealth Through Innovative Economic Opportunities.
(A flyer with more information and a list of speakers is attached at the end of this story)
The event will be at Inborden Elementary School in Enfield, starting with a breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.and then a forum from 9 a.m. to noon. Afterward there will be a chance to meet the speakers from noon to 2 p.m.
It will be an opportunity to bring together industry and business leaders, economic experts, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and others to discuss how to create long lasting community wealth by bringing new and innovative economic opportunities to rural communities.
McCollum said the idea of the summit is not to take away from what economic development officials in the region are trying to accomplish, but to help them. “Rather than criticizing, why can’t the community come together and help?”
McCollum said the SCLC is building relationships. “Economic development can’t do it by themselves. One of the main things is poverty. Why can’t we bring solutions to one of the biggest problems? This is our community. How do we impact poverty in our community? Do I sit on the sidelines and talk about it? Or do you get in the fray and do something something about it?”
Ervin Griffin Sr., a member of the SCLC, said the lineman program is a great example of the connections being built within the organization. “We’re one great swing away, one good hit away and we’re there.”
Sessions will cover the following topics:
Creating Revenue Streams from Green Energy
Using Federal Funds for Local Internet Buildouts
Matching Employers with Job Seekers
Accessing Small Business Funding for New and Existing Entrepreneurs
Innovations in Community Healthcare
Employment Opportunities in the Modern Energy Industry
The summit is designed to assist municipalities in accessing resources impacting poverty-stricken regions like Halifax County by improving the economic development outlook.
Business community leaders, law enforcement, educators, faith-based organizations, students, citizens and stakeholders who are responsible for the improvement and the maximization of the economic and financial health and well-being of that of the community and future generations are encouraged to attend.
The event is free but registration is required to attend.
Lunch will be provided by the Halifax County Economic Development Commission.