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Outdoor Economy's Role in West Virginia's Future

Dr. Danny Twilley, assistant dean of the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative (OEDC) at West Virginia University, helped establish the OEDC starting with a blank piece of paper and an idea to improve the prosperity of a state by leveraging the states outdoor recreation assets. Using data and case studies to share the vision led to the OEDC receiving a $25 million gift, one of the largest in the University’s history, to begin the journey. As stewards of the transformative gift, the Outdoor Economy part of the OEDC focuses on five areas: talent attraction, outdoor asset development and enhancement, community development, business and workforce development, and research and curriculum.