CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several higher education institutions in West Virginia have launched an alliance meant to kick-start economic development.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the Alliance for the Economic Development for Southern West Virginia was launched Monday. It will focus on 21 counties and aims to revitalize the area’s small communities by using their resources more efficiently.

The group hopes to use education services, workforce training and other resources to create jobs and improve business opportunities in the area.

The group, comprising 10 area schools, will offer workshops and events throughout the year on topics ranging from expanding broadband to fighting the opioid epidemic.