Our vision is Appalachian places and people unlocking their full potential, power, and purpose.
We envision a revitalized people thriving in a renewed, more prosperous economy that is grounded in Appalachian values
Our organization exists because in 2009 volunteers started to address concerns about housing in Wayne, WV. It was quickly realized that traditional charity was not nearly enough to address the deep, generational challenges we face. After intense community engagement, we pioneered a relationship-based, holistic approach to on-the-job training. Unemployed and underemployed people were hired to construct green affordable housing. Trainees worked the 33-6-3 model each week: 33 hours of paid labor, 6 hours of higher education class time, and 3 hours of life-skills mentorship.
Today, we have grown into a family of social enterprises working throughout the region as a leader in the building of a new economy during the wake of the coal industry’s rapid decline. We have created more than 40 on-the-job training positions, more than 200 professional certification opportunities, redeveloped more than 150,000 square feet of dilapidated property, and successfully launched five new businesses in real estate development, construction, wood working, agriculture and artisan trades – industries based on local assets and having real viability in the Appalachian region.
Coalfield Development operates as a family of seven social enterprises. A social enterprise is a business that combines the compassion of the nonprofit sector with the efficiency of the for-profit sector.
What Our Trainees Think About Us
"It's a great group of people. We're all here for the one goal of bettering ourselves. They are setting you up to succeed in life."
"They send you through college and help you out. It's like another family. Everybody does their job and works together."
"My main goal is to be able to make my own living doing what I like to do; in a place that I can raise my family and support myself at the same time. If you're thinking about signing up, don't wait."