Coalfield Development is spearheading the Appalachian Climate Technology (ACT) Now Coalition to support the transition from coal to a climate resilient economy in southern West Virginia. This includes initiatives in green manufacturing, solar power, reuse and recycling, local agriculture, technology, and reclamation of abandoned mine sites. The coalition is seeking nearly $100 million in new investment to spark fresh investment and new business activity.
Last month, Coalfield announced it had been selected by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) as one of 60 finalists in the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. This was out of an applicant pool of more than 500 other communities.
The ACT Now coalition consist of dozens of public and private partners working to expand emerging climate resilient sectors of the local economy including the state’s two largest cities (City of Huntington and the City of Charleston) as well as its two largest universities (West Virginia University and Marshall University). ACT Now is led by some of the most innovative community and economic development nonprofits in the state including (among many others) the West Virginia Community Development Hub, Advantage Valley, The Nature Conservancy, and Generation West Virginia. More than 20 employers are supporting the coalition, committing to increase employment and investment in the region.
“We are thrilled to be a Build Back Better Regional Challenge Phase 1 finalist. This administration has committed a significant portion of this program’s funds going to coal communities which I think is commendable. For the first time in my career, there is a program offering enough funds to do something truly transformation and provide the resources needed to build a new economy for the changing times in which we live. This is a truly historic opportunity,” Dennison said.
Coalfield Development is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization headquartered in Wayne, West Virginia focusing on rebuilding the Appalachian economy through social enterprise creation, job training, and community-based real-estate development.