Having a face and a name

To the Editor,

Thanks to the United States Economic Development Administration (USEDA), the City of Weirton and the BDC, continue to collect comments of appreciation and gratitude about what the USEDA has done for our community, by choosing our region for a Regional Economic Diversification Summit (REDS), for a variety of reasons, including:

1. Choosing Weirton, to hold the REDS, when they have many other communities from which to select.

2. Putting, in front of our community stakeholders, the faces, names, and contact information of a variety of federal and state agencies for which, if any of our local officials or businesses had to reach out to them directly, might takes hours, days, or weeks to find the right person, in the correct agency, to inquire about a specific program; provided we even were aware of any of the programs that were discussed at the summit.

3. Being made aware of, and the education we received with regards to, the variety of funding programs, within the individual state and federal agencies, that are available to our region and stakeholders, for which we would not have ever known about, if it were not for the REDS.

4. The accessibility, openness, helpfulness, collaborative inter-activeness, service-oriented engagement, and friendliness of all the EDA, EPA, FEMA, DOL, DOT, Army Corps, and other state and federal agencies, who engaged with all of our local stakeholders throughout the two days they visited Weirton.

5. The “get something done” attitude of all of the state and federal agencies, targeted for participation in this summit, that was displayed throughout the summit.

These are just a summary of the comments we are receiving. However, if I could summarize, in a sentence or two, what was really conveyed by the observers at this summit, it would be the following: EDA, and the REDS, put a face and a name on the federal government. Those names and faces are no different than the faces and names at our local level. USEDA showed the residents of Weirton that government is truly working for us and, now, we have a face and name to prove it.

Thank you!

Patrick Ford

Executive Director

Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle