History and Approach

The West Virginia Community Development Hub supports West Virginians with the tools and training they need to lead and spark positive change in their hometowns and across our state. 

In 2009, The Hub was founded by a small group of passionate, committed community development leaders who saw an opportunity to establish a new, innovative approach to catalyze community growth and transformational change in rural areas of West Virginia. Their goal was to create an organization that would serve as a technical assistance provider, a coach for communities, and a team to connect the network of resources available across the state to serve West Virginia communities.

The Hub’s purpose is to:

    1. Coach volunteer community leadership teams to help them build sustained development in rural communities; and
    2. Grow the overall community economic development system in West Virginia through collaborative partnerships that use innovative approaches to address systemic challenges for rural development. 

"For more than a decade, we have experimented, learned, and walked beside communities as they have had successes and failures. We have identified strategies for rural community development that can work in any place that has a small group of dedicated, diverse local leaders who want to improve their area."

– Amanda Workman-Scott

Director of Community Engagement

What is Community Development?

Community Development is the act of making a place the best version of itself. At The Hub, we know that every community has the potential to shine as a strong and vibrant place where locals can live their best lives and visitors are excited to explore. We work to bring forward local leaders to highlight the assets, history, engagement, and connection among residents that make a community so special.

Our Motivating Belief

At The Hub, we work with teams of West Virginians to define the future they want to see and build the skills and connections to get there. We believe that when West Virginians leverage the opportunities and tools they need to make positive change, they create a transformational impact in their communities.

We believe that every West Virginia community has assets available today that enable them to build:

  • New economic opportunities 
  • Vibrant community environments that reflect their unique identities and histories 
  • Networks of engaged residents who believe in their ability to create the changes they want to see and who are prepared to work together to make them happen

HOW WE WORK

We are grounded in four approaches:

INVEST

Invest in community leadership, teams, and community-identified projects

BUILD

Build impactful partnerships across the diverse groups working on community development in the state

TACKLE

Tackle the systems-level challenges that communities face through creative policy engagement

DRIVE

Drive forward a new story about West Virginia detailing how positive change is possible and is happening today

OUR VALUES

1. We begin by building up leaders.

Bringing forward new and unexpected leaders is the foundation of innovation. Welcoming different perspectives is necessary to actualize the systemic changes needed to bring about lasting, positive outcomes in our state.

2. We believe residents are subject-matter experts.

Transformational change happens when residents are continually at the forefront of both defining the challenges as they see them and enacting the solutions to address them.

3. We collaborate.

Everything we do is in partnership; we never go it alone. We continually invite new leaders to the table and we build new partnerships to offer value to communities.

4. We believe diversity creates strength.

Welcoming diverse community members and local volunteers will create a transformational impact for our state.

5. We commit.

We ground our work in the Theory of Accompaniment, a practice that calls us to carry out our services in concert with the people we serve –  walking beside, not ahead – and to engage in our commitments for the long-term.