Celebrating and Closing out 2021 at The Hub, A Message from Stephanie Tyree

As the year comes to a close, we are proud of the work we have done at the WV Community Development Hub with you: our partners, community leaders, and friends.

While this year has presented challenges to us all, our work to support the growth of rural communities in West Virginia has given us hope, heart, and a true sustained belief in the transformational impact that each person can have in making positive change.

In 2021, The Hub worked alongside over 3000 community leaders in West Virginia to improve, grow, and revitalize rural West Virginia. We provided over $65,000 in mini-grant funds to support 67 community-based projects, and watched our community teams leverage $3.5M in matching funding to drive forward their transformational work.

Residents in Smithers, WV participating in the Cultivate WV program high-five on a job well done

We know that the work community leaders are doing in West Virginia is a unique and successful approach to rural community development.

Our first and primary goal is always to support and celebrate the leaders on the ground throughout the state. We’ve been thrilled to showcase a handful of our community partners in documentary features and case studies to uplift their stories and provide multiple platforms for them to speak with their own voice about their successes and strategies. More than 500,000 people viewed these stories of visionary community leaders in 2021.

We’ve grown our services in the past year to try to better meet community volunteers where they are at, including launching a new online training program and a community development learning series called Kickstart Communities, creating a monthly Community Conversation series to build connection and learning between community development leaders and volunteers across the state, and adapting our traditional community coaching programs to remote and hybrid models to better serve our communities. This is in addition to launching multiple new programs and building new strategies to grow the community development field as a whole in the coming years.

Residents in Clarksburg, WV participating in the Redefined West Virginia storytelling campaign celebrate after a day of filming

And we do this all with a small team. But what makes our work so special is that The Hub staff each have a huge passion for what they do. This shows up in how hard they work to achieve success, and the constant leadership they exhibit through each of their programs, activities, and partnerships.

To show appreciation to our staff for all their hard work, and to recognize that the last 18 months have brought unprecedented challenges that we have weathered while being focused on building resilience, adaptation and growth, The Hub Board of Directors and senior leadership team have decided to provide an extended holiday leave to all organizational staff. Between mid-December to mid-January, all staff will be on our 2021 Hub Holiday Leave. The organization will be officially closed from December 18 through January 9. We hope to use this time to rest, spend time with our own communities and families, and prepare to hit the ground running for what we know will be a huge year of continued growth and impact in 2022.

We appreciate all of your support of our work at The Hub. Everything we do is in partnership, nothing alone, and we could not do what we do without you – in each and every way that our partners throughout the community development field in West Virginia and the Appalachian region work together.

Stephanie Tyree is The Hub’s Executive Director. Reach Stephanie at s.tyree@wvhub.org.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

More to explore

Congrats Northern Brownfields Assistance Center on a new round of Opportunity Appalachia!

Congratulations to the Northern Brownfields Assistance Center on being the new lead state partner for Opportunity Appalachia, , an ARC POWER-funded program that will provide targeted support for downtown and rural development projects, building entrepreneurial communities where local business can thrive, creating quality jobs for residents, helping to address the Covid downturn, and revitalizing local economies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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: a statewide land bank 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