Bowman's business has allowed her to have experiences and opportunities she said she couldn't have found anywhere else. She now strives to use her own story to demonstrate to others, especially young people who are on the fence, about the advantages of staying.
"In order to keep our young talent here, in order to attract new talent, we have to scream about the state's positive aspects at the top of our lungs," she said. "We need to celebrate our success stories."
Following Bowman's speech, Daughtery demonstrated the hard numbers behind the group's concerns.
He said there are currently more than 600,000 individuals between the ages of 18 and 45 living in W.Va., but according to census data, those numbers are shrinking. From 2000 to 2008, the population of this age group in the state decreased by 6.5 percent. Those who leave often cite the state's lack of jobs.
For this change, the state's youth must be given the tools to create their own opportunities, Daughtery said.
The symposium's attendees where given the opportunity to split into small workshop groups where they heard talks from the remaining speakers, before coming back together to share and what they had learned.
Participants who stayed until the end of the event became eligible for a "Creating Solutions" mini-grant.
Contact writer Charles Young at charles.yo...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.
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