Model & Strategy

Coalfield Development is a West Virginia 501(c)3 focused on ending the intergenerational cycle of poverty in Appalachia by rebuilding the region’s economy from the ground up.  Coalfield’s mission is to promote economic development and create jobs for chronically unemployed residents, most of whom are in the coal industry. Coal companies owned, and then abandoned, not just the coal mines, but much of the state’s infrastructure.  Coalfield oversees a family of social enterprises that pioneer new and viable economic markets in the region, while simultaneously providing a holistic model of direct employment, formal education, and personal development training.

Coalfield Development logo
At a Glance
Founded: 2012
Founder & CEO: Brandon Dennison
Economic Empowerment
Location of work: Domestic
Coalfield Development
Wayne, WV
Appalachian Courage, Creativity, Community
Two men in hard hats are featured; one is working to cut wood to install siding on the side of a house, while the other is using a laptop to look up parameters for the siding
Meet Brandon Dennison

Brandon Dennison, the Founder and CEO of Coalfield Development, was born and raised in southern West Virginia. In college, Brandon became a Youth Director for a progressive faith group through and experiential learning trips across the US and the world.  On his final service trip in West Virginia, Brandon was struck by an interaction with two men who approached the volunteers who were working on home repairs asking the volunteers for work.  Through these experiences, Brandon recognized how much need there is in his own backyard, and after graduate school, he returned to West Virginia to launch Coalfield Development.

Brandon attended college at Shepherd University in West Virginia and received a Master of Public Affairs in Nonprofit Management with a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from Indiana University. He has received many awards and honors including the 2015 JM Kaplan Social Innovation Prize, the 2014 Diehl Family Social Enterprise Competition, and was named a 40 under 40 leaders nationwide who are making their mark on the nonprofit world by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

 

 

Impact

Coalfield has attracted $20M in new investment to southern West Virginia with over 250 new jobs created and more than 50 new businesses started in southern West Virginia.

The program has facilitated over 1,000 professional certifications for formerly unemployed people and has spread messaging about a new sustainable economy to over 15M people globally.

 

  • Our Mountain Mindful store is officially open for business! Ready to shop locally and sustainably made products? Sh… https://t.co/YeA1pGA44Y
  • One of our SEED partners, @GreenbrierDairy, just launched their website! Get farm fresh cheese and butter shipped s… https://t.co/ROPIvF5vGs
  • Our SEED Fund makes investments in social entrepreneurs with viable ideas and willing to adhere to a triple-bottom-… https://t.co/RVAOYFhXxh
  • Discrimination or harassment has absolutely no room in the workplace. It is our role as leaders to… https://t.co/NO78PR4Zmd
  • We're able to help revitalize our region because of donations from folks like you. Give back via Amazon Smile or Pa… https://t.co/IOBCfb2oN5
  • During the COVID-19 Pandemic, many mothers have had an immense toll placed upon them. Be mindful of those around yo… https://t.co/VP6tHwWlzf
  • In less than a decade, we can achieve pay equity based on gender. This is another process that requires us to lead.… https://t.co/fBgAR1oTq6
  • Meet Coalfield Champion Patrick Bradshaw. Listen to more of Pat's inspiring story on our podcast, Change in the Coa… https://t.co/zbCG3CqRGf
  • RT @Ashoka: The scale of transformation needed to avert #climatecrisis and rebalance our relationship with nature will create an employment…
  • RT @Faheonline: As @CoalfieldWV's Brandon Dennison points out in @wvgazettemail, communities need big investments in local business develop…
  • Our latest episode of Change in the Coalfields features Stephanie Tyree, Executive Director of The Hub, a community… https://t.co/1MEnI1uFdn
  • Meet Appalachian Sustainable Development, one of our WRAPS partners! Learn more here: https://t.co/VZbJHFRCRPhttps://t.co/GhMcwm6YDS
  • The Old Urlings General Store provides Wayne with 5 affordable housing units and offices for the Wayne EDA, the Hou… https://t.co/eVGfsRKxdl
  • We've revitalized several buildings in our region, turning them into affordable, quality housing for folks in our a… https://t.co/34IfMYGZPK
  • Mountain Mindful is officially live! Follow our newest social enterprise on Facebook and Instagram and shop at… https://t.co/irarv6WRMy
  • We decided to be the change we wanted to see in the Appalachian region. #coalfielddevelopment
  • RT @Ashoka: Once a coal-dependent economy, Appalachia looks ahead to a diversified, clean-energy future. Find out how with @AshokaUS Fellow…
  • RT @HigherEdWV: Join the more than 115 #WVians for our Small Communities, BIG Solutions Workforce Meeting on April 29, from 9 to 11:15 a.m.…
  • Introducing Mountain Mindful, a new social enterprise by Coalfield Development, launching this Earth Day. Mountain… https://t.co/lG5p7w4zg9
  • Support us in our goal to revitalize the Appalachian economy. Donate here: https://t.co/DODiVpygnnhttps://t.co/RTXnzNBy4c