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.

 

  • In ep. 8 of our podcast, Brandon talks with Blue Green Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh. Check out this teas… https://t.co/wHxvXuKThc
  • It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today, we celebrate this civil rights leader and his efforts for racial equality h… https://t.co/5DUsONSRLO
  • Our podcast is back with a brand new episode and a new name, Change in the Coalfields! This week features Jason Wal… https://t.co/XrwZnNL2nN
  • "Tough times don’t last, tough people do," is a quote that epitomizes the people of Appalachia. The Department of E… https://t.co/vQXcX7TksH
  • This piece by Rachel Garringer, a WV native, explores the need for more stories about Appalachia, our unique cultur… https://t.co/cgNjqWqk73
  • West Edge Factory is our headquarters, but it's also major community revitalization project for us! Learn more abou… https://t.co/8162xnI3lv
  • Decreasing college attendance rates serves as a threat to the vitality of rural America. However, a solution is pre… https://t.co/RXuY3deMmJ
  • The year 2020 was one full of hardships and strife for our nation; however, through these hardships, rural America… https://t.co/KTkfzcGOkj
  • Our vision is simple. Learn more about our mission and values here: https://t.co/C9Rd3otdDe #coalfielddevelopmenthttps://t.co/GWJ3GTV4gI
  • Sturdy, sleek, and modern, your plants will look incredible on stands made by Coalfield Development crewmembers. Ge… https://t.co/6KsVgg7xA8
  • Make some time to listen to this interesting discussion on the new stimulus package and the impact of the pandemic… https://t.co/KmQlvvxei2
  • Become a member of the Coalfield Crew this year and work towards changing your life. Learn more here:… https://t.co/sg4KR3DpHh
  • A great piece on the importance of civic activity in maintaining the integrity of our municipal and local instituti… https://t.co/CgrQlH9L0l
  • A message from our CEO: "Here is a statement I recently shared with the entire Coalfield team. While initially only… https://t.co/EEIq8ygmaS
  • Check out this video highlighting the work we've been doing with @RTcwac. Expanding our impact to other areas of Ap… https://t.co/eZHgkvWu3i
  • RT @CoalfieldWV: @CentralAppTech, led by CEO @ToddCope1, is an amazing organization that connects Appalachian job seekers to careers with t…
  • Did you know that a $100 donation provides one of our trainees with sturdy work boots? Every time you donate to us,… https://t.co/XG6zRqOBRO
  • The recycling industry is a growing economic force with the ability to create millions of jobs. Appalachian's shoul… https://t.co/iPvuuYdOGx