Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachian Communities

The economies of many counties and sub-regions in the Appalachian Region have historically depended on a few dominant industries, such as mining or manufacturing. In recent years, Appalachian coal production—particularly in the Central Appalachian coal basin—has plummeted. Coal companies have gone bankrupt, resulting in job losses with devastating effects on families, communities, counties, and states. Using state-of-the-art research methods, focus groups, and community-level surveys, this project with Downstream Strategies LLC and the Appalachian Regional Commission investigated best practices, strategies, and policies that local leaders can use to enhance the future economic prospects of coal-impacted communities throughout the Appalachian Region. It resulted in a Technical Report and a Guidebook for Practitioners.

Funding Agency: Appalachian Regional Commission

Lead Institution: Downstream Strategies

Accompanying Institution(s): Dialogue + Design and Associates, NERCRD, and West Virginia University

Start Date: January, 2018   End Date: March, 2019

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