Economic Development

courtesy Brandon Dennison

The founder of a West Virginia job-training organization called Coalfield Development has been awarded $250,000 from the Heinz Family Foundation. 


Brandon Dennison is being recognized for his work to help address generational poverty in central and southern West Virginia.

US Department of Agriculture

On Monday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice shared his recommendations for the next round of Appalachian Regional Commission projects in the state. 

The ARC is a partnership between the federal government and the 13 Appalachian states. The agency awards federal dollars for infrastructure and economic development projects across the region.

What Happened to Weirton? Part 5: Moving Forward

Jul 15, 2019
Ella Jennings

If someone had a crystal ball, they could tell you exactly what the future holds for Weirton. Sadly, there are no magic tools to make this a short story. But, with a bit of help from the gift of gab, I’ll tell you about the current trajectory of the area.

Ashton Marra / 100 Days in Appalachia

If Appalachia were on the stock market, Federal Co-Chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission Tim Thomas says he’d invest in it.

“There is a bright future for Appalachia,” Thomas said. After traveling the region for four workshops, he’s convinced there are innovators in Appalachia who will help businesses and workers here overcome their most recent setbacks. Those innovators just need support.

It was the second day of a statewide teacher and service personnel walkout over a comprehensive education reform bill. We bring you up-to-date on the latest action, and we also bring you special reports on black lung-related legislation, economic development, and tourism.

Peabody Energy, Inc. / Wikimedia Commons

Economic development leaders from the Ohio Valley’s coal communities used a Congressional hearing on climate change Tuesday to say that their communities must be central to conversations about climate solutions.

The Senate President and House Speaker join us for a conversation about some of the top issues this session, and we take a closer look at medical marijuana with a special report from Senior Statehouse Reporter Dave Mistich.

Janet Kunicki/ WVPB

Since the War on Poverty in the 1960s, federal funds to help revitalize coal country have poured in from Washington, D.C. And in recent years, a new federal push has brought millions of dollars worth of funding to projects that are intended to create jobs and retrain people in coal country for work in other fields. There are also a number of state initiatives to help generate job growth. But have these projects worketd?

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

This week we’ll revisit an episode that originally aired earlier this spring about two young people who are learning farming as part of a workforce development program called Refresh Appalachia. We'll also get an update on where Colt Brogan and Crystal Snyder are today.

A surface mine in Letcher County, Kentucky. The reclaimed part of the mine is seeded with grass.
Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

From solar farms in Virginia to a green energy subdivision in Kentucky, a new report by a group of regional advocacy organizations highlights 20 ready-made projects across the Ohio Valley that could give abandoned mining operations that were never cleaned up a second life, and create new economic opportunity across the region.

 

Janet Kunicki/ WVPB

Since the War on Poverty in the 1960s, federal funds to help revitalize coal country have poured in from Washington, D.C. And in recent years, a new federal push has brought millions of dollars worth of funding to projects that are intended to create jobs and retrain people in coal country for work in other fields. There are also a number of state initiatives to help generate job growth. But have these projects worked? 


Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We reported earlier this year on an economic development project to grow lavender on former strip mines in West Virginia. After the story was released, we heard from a number of students involved in the program, saying they were disappointed and felt misled by the outcomes of the project, called Green Mining. West Virginia Public Broadcasting revisited the story to find out what happened, and if the project is still going as expected. 


Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Several federally funded job-training programs have emerged in recent years designed to help revitalize coal country. In 2017 alone, the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership focused on economic development since the mid-1960s, approved more than $150 million in projects for the region. But how successful are these programs, and what are the challenges?

Janet Kunicki/ WVPB

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation is taking applications for grant funding available for economic development projects.

The goal of the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Economic Development Pilot Program is to provide financial assistance to communities hoping to redevelop lands near abandoned mine sites across the state. 


A surface mine in Letcher County, Kentucky. The reclaimed part of the mine is seeded with grass.
Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation is accepting applications for a portion of $25 million in grant funding for economic development projects.

Applicants have until June 15 to apply.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

Federal funds have been awarded to four West Virginia organizations focused on economic development.

Those four agencies include the Region 7 Planning and Development Council, the Planning and Development Councils in both the Eastern Panhandle and the Mid-Ohio Valley, and the Marshall University Research Corporation. The groups will split an award of $310,000.

Adobe Stock

The Appalachian Regional Commission has just awarded more than 1.3 million dollars to support economic development projects throughout West Virginia.

Melissa Thomas Van Gundy at the  Fernow Experimental Forest in Tucker County, W.Va.
Jean Sendegar / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Editor's Note: This story is part of an occasional series from independent producer Jean Snedegar about the timber and forest products industry here in the Mountain State – from seedlings to final products.

One of the oldest and largest industries in West Virginia is the timber and wood products industry.  West Virginia is rich in this renewable natural resource, but the housing downturn that began 10 years ago hit the industry hard. 

MOUNTAIN STAGE/PAT SERGENT

Music has traditionally played a big role in the culture of Appalachia, and it seems that other countries are taking notice of the region’s rich musical tradition. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from the tourism music trail in West Virginia called The Mountain Music Trail (MMT) Since we last heard from them, they have grown. The MMT recently was a finalist in the British Guild of Travel Writers 2016 tourism initiative awards in the “wider word” category, and was recognized as one of the top three destinations in the world. 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

About a year after Gov. Tomblin announced he would spend his last year in office focused on an economic development project on a former mountaintop removal mine site, the project itself has its first investor and a new name.

Tomblin announced in a press conference at the Capitol Thursday that the former Hobet mine site would become the Rock Creek Development Park.

ATV
aiisha / Dollar Photo Club

Having recently lost access to about 55 miles of some of the toughest off-roading trails in the state, 4x4 drivers have found new paths to challenge themselves on in a different part of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System.

AllVoices.com

A crowd of about 200 people gathered in Sutton to learn about the process for applying for funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission and Economic Development Administration’s joint POWER Initiative.

The former Best Furniture building in downtown Welch will be the site of Renaissance Village.
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Asbestos abatement and environmental clean up began Tuesday at the vacant Best Furniture Store in downtown Welch in McDowell County Tuesday, some 19 months after a project to demolish and build new housing on the site was announced.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

$65.8 million is now available to help people who are struggling in coal fields throughout the U.S.  $35 million of that will be distributed throughout Appalachia, where layoffs in the coal industry have been especially hard on communities.


Mountain Stage/Pat Sergent

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why Davis and Elkins College offers a unique type of scholarship for students who play traditional folk music. And we’ll hear about a new tourism music trail in West Virginia called The Mountain Music Trail.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear stories of Christmas past, Christmas present and even hope for Christmases in the future.

flybeckley.com

A West Virginia airport is beginning to offer weekly flights to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

About 150 people from six states gathered in Morgantown Tuesday, June 16, to tell the Appalachian Regional Commission what they think the organization can do to help the region take advantage of emerging opportunities. The ARC will use the information collected at the Morgantown listening session and four others to develop a plan to guide its economic and community development efforts during the next five years.

 

The Appalachian Regional Commission was created as an economic development agency in 1964 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. The ARC partners with federal, state and local government to advocate for sustainable community and economic development across the region.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Several federal government agencies are teaming up to send $35.5 million to help communities and workers adapt to the decline in coal jobs.  The grant is part of the  Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization  initiative, known as POWER, led by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Agency.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, along with other federal representatives, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. The announcement comes on the heels of a report evaluating the progress of the Commission after 50 years.

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