The Hub will implement HubCAP V in five rural communities in West Virginia, focusing on accelerating community-led economic development efforts.
We at The Hub are thrilled to announce the newest addition to our team, Alecia Allen. Alecia will serve as the Community Development Programs Coordinator to help guide The Hub’s work by overseeing the Community Collaborative Network, Accelerate WV, the Monticello Mural Project and facilitating and maintaining external partnerships.
Alecia is working alongside Stephanie Tyree, our Executive Director. Alecia and Stephanie connected for a conversation to share Alecia’s background, her passion for community partnerships, why she believes so strongly in community development, and what she hopes her work will do for West Virginia.
Alecia Allen: I learned about WV Community Development Hub while working in the non-profit sector in Charleston, WV.
AA: I am drawn to the role of Community Development Programs Coordinator because of the built-in opportunities to connect with people across the state in all sectors of community development. I believe that people and community are cornerstones of positive change and forward movement in West Virginia.
AA: My experience in community development is based on capacity building, non-profit management and leadership, and addressing health disparities in marginalized populations in WV that influence socio-economic trends in communities. This is particularly important in our state where West Virginians are working to scale up their local economies, leading the charge of leveraging strengths and resources to manage challenges unique to Appalachian communities.
AA: The Hub is intentional in its programmatic approach to help communities leverage strengths and resources to create positive and transformational change.
AA: I am drawn to community development work because I believe that West Virginians and small communities have the skillset and when given support and the opportunity, can gather the momentum necessary to lead and sustain positive change locally that will benefit the economy statewide.
AA: I’m excited to hold work that promotes collaboration among communities across sectors of community development that will spark and sustain transformative work in West Virginia.
Alecia Allen is the Community Development Partnership Coordinator, you can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We at The Hub are thrilled to announce the newest addition to our coaching team, Sherri James.
Part of The Hub’s work is helping community teams and volunteers who want to make their communities the best they can be for visitors and citizens.
Watch real stories of West Virginians who are bringing hope to their communities.
For too long, who and what it means to be a West Virginian has been defined for us. It’s time to redefine the Mountain State in our own words and in the eyes of the world. West Virginia can be anything we want it to be – let’s redefine it together.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.