At the WV POWER Summit held November 17, 2021, more than 150 people interested in Appalachian Regional Commission POWER projects in the Mountain State came together to connect with peers, stakeholders, and funders; learn new skills; and build resilience for their work.

We’re sharing out videos from the panel discussions and the new POWER Talk documentary video shorts on this page. Watch the entire event on our YouTube channel.

WATCH THE SUMMIT

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Keynote Discussion

Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin discusses opportunities and innovation happening in the Mountain State as a result of federal funding with two West Virginia-based POWER grantees, Dave Clark (Woodlands Development Group) and Victoria Stansberry (Lewis County Commission).

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Launching a POWER Project: Strategies to Kickstart Success

How do you make your federally-funded project successful? Learn from current and recent-past West Virginia POWER grantees about key strategies for a successful launch; common challenges that happen at the start of a project and how to overcome them; tips for building strong partnerships and community advocates; and guidance on what they wish they had known at the very beginning to help set their projects on the path to success.

Host: Ralph Goolsby

Presenters: Jacob Hannah (Coalfield Development); Stephen Jones (Monongahela Outdoor Volunteers); Jeffrey Lusk (Hatfield McCoy Regional Recreation Authority); Ray Moeller (WVU Northern Brownfields Assistance Center); Ashley Shaw (Marshall Health CORE Program)

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Moving from Incubation to Acceleration: Building Sustainability from POWER Funds

The ultimate goal of the POWER Initiative is to advance innovative economy-building strategies that continue on even after the grant funding ends. West Virginia POWER grantees share about the lessons learned as they moved into the mid-point and close-out phases of their POWER projects; tips for project pivots and course changes; and how they have built long-term sustainability into their programs.

Host: Monica Miller (M. Miller Development Services)

Presenters: Marjorie Cooke (Advantage Valley); Gene Coulson (National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education); Joseph Howard (WV Forest Products Cooperative Inc.); Judy Moore (WV Hive Network); Derek Scarbro (Robert C. Byrd Institute of Technology at Marshall Univ.)

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Planning a Successful 2022 POWER Application

Learn strategies and guidance from successful previous POWER grantees, funders, West Virginia state-level Appalachian Region Commission leads, and the Appalachian Regional Commission POWER Program Coordinator. Panelists share strategies and best practices on putting together highly-ranked, competitive applications for technical assistance and implementation projects and tips on the timeline for putting together POWER project collaborations. Learn who you need to be working with, when you need to be engaging state and federal agencies, and how administrative agency partners may be able to help you put together a POWER project that scales your current work across multiple regions or states.

Host: Katie Loudin (WV Community Development Hub)

Presenters: Krista Cox (WV Community Advancement and Development at WV Dept. of Economic Development ); Mary Hunt (Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation); Braedon Koerwitz (ARC); Natalie Roper (Generation WV); Sarah Riley (High Rocks Education Corporation); Victoria Stansberry (Lewis County Commission); John Tuggle (Region IV Planning and Development Council)

WATCH THE POWER TALK DOCS

POWER Talk: Fruits of Labor & Region IV Planning and Development Council

POWER Talk: Grow Ohio Valley

POWER Talk: Advice from New Grantees & Partners

ARC POWER RESOURCES

Following are helpful resources for current and prospective Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) POWER Grantees in West Virginia:

Interested in learning more about the POWER Summit?

Systemic Change

2021 became a time period of catalytic potential as we saw years of investment into our core strategies to enact systemic change yield new results. Our strategic focus areas include policy, communications, and supporting the community economic development system in leveraging unique financing opportunities such as the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative and Opportunity Zones.

In addition, through our strategic policy support role within the Abandoned Properties Coalition, The Hub successfully advanced two key objectives: the creation of a statewide land bank at the West Virginia Land Stewardship Corporation and extension of the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. 

Through the Opportunity Appalachia program, 6 catalytic community projects located in WV-based Opportunity Zones received $250,000 for pre-development technical assistance. Three projects received additional private funding as a result of program participation.

Cowen

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies. Read their community case study.

Montgomery

Residents participated in the Cultivate WV program to kickstart community and economy building. Read their community case study.

Smithers

Residents participated in the Cultivate WV program to kickstart community and economy building. Read their community case study.

Kingwood

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Lewis County

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Meadow River Valley Region

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Read their community case study.

Monticello Neighborhood of Clarksburg

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Watch their community documentary.

New Martinsville

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Read their community case study.

Parsons

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Elkins

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies. 

A core team led by Woodlands Development Group also participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Community Coaching

In 2021, we accompanied 16 communities through our in-depth, professional coaching programs. In addition to leaning into coaching and financing opportunities offered through these programs, participating communities leveraged an additional $2.8 million in funding on their own for community economic development projects. While participating in our entry-level coaching program, Cultivate WV, Montgomery and Smithers realized momentum-building success through access to $40,000 in seed funding for projects like farmers markets, public art, wayfinding, community events, and development of a trail system.

Six communities, Lewis County, Kingwood, Meadow River Valley, Monticello neighborhood in Clarksburg, New Martinsville and Parsons, graduated the intermediate planning program Blueprint Communities* with strategic plans in place. We also launched a new round of HubCAP, our flagship community economic development program, in six towns located in the Monongahela National Forest region: Cowen, Franklin, White Sulphur Springs, Elkins, Marlinton, and Petersburg.

Franklin

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Marlinton

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Petersburg

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

White Sulphur Springs

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Charleston

A core team led by Crawford Holdings, LLC participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Huntington

Core teams led by Thundercloud, Inc. and the City of Huntington participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support community development projects located in Opportunity Zones.

Grafton

A core team led by Unleash Tygart, Inc participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Leadership Development

As hundreds of people began to engage in our virtual training activities in 2020, we saw a critical opportunity to scale and deepen our impact. This year, The Hub team developed an accessible, virtual platform with options for self-guided and group learning activities as well as professional coaching.

Kickstart Communities is now the crux of our efforts to bring new people into the work and grow their leadership. These activities now form the foundational stages of a Community Leadership Development Pipeline to move motivated residents from seeing the challenges in their communities to proactively collaborating to resolve them.

Message from our Executive Leadership Team

Fifteen years ago, stakeholders building up local communities and economies in West Virginia convened to map a coordinated strategy to systemically grow community economic development activity in the state. From the shared vision and collaborative leadership of dozens of strategic partners across the state, the WV Community Development Hub was born.

Since that time, The Hub has grown into the anchor community development organization serving West Virginia. We have built upon the original vision to create a method for rural, community-led development strategies that is uniquely tailored to the needs and opportunities of our state.

As we have grown and developed a proven model for success, our partnerships with community and economic development practitioners, funders, and committed West Virginia residents have been foundational to every element of our work.

Over the past two years, the team at The Hub has adapted to the unprecedented challenges our communities have faced during the pandemic by leaning into our core strengths to deepen our impact. The Hub remains committed to tackling persistent challenges, and we have focused our attention on the most impactful elements of our work.

We are supporting community leaders to advance their visions for local development, creating new pathways for engagement and leadership growth through our virtual training platform, and leading strategies that lift up voices of community leaders to move forward solutions to long-held challenges to growth.

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that nothing about the future is set in stone. While the coming year may present enormous opportunities for advancement in our state, they will also inevitably require significant capacity building, shared strategies that are grounded in trust-based partnerships, and extended efforts to support the leadership development of individuals and organizations who have been asked to do more during a time of extreme stress and strain.

The services that anchor organizations like The Hub provide are even more critical in this time, and we expect our work to scale significantly in the coming years ahead.

We look forward to continuing to do the work of putting into action the vision and the shared strategies envisioned by that core group of community economic development practitioners and funders fifteen years ago.

In Continued Accompaniment,

– WV Community Development Hub
Executive Leadership Team

Stephanie Tyree

Executive Director

Amanda Workman Scott

Director of Community Engagement

Emma Pepper

Director of Strategic Network Communications

Katie Loudin

Director of Strategic Development