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.

 

  • On S2E17 of #ChangeintheCoalfields, we talk with Thomas Watson, who is the Owner and Managing Director of Rural Sup… https://t.co/07azBT1LiK
  • Special thanks to @ClearwayEnergy for partnering with us on a fantastic roundtable. It was great to be with so ma… https://t.co/NUXKvudMzh
  • Shoutout to our amazing Refresh Appalachia team. They recently joined @WSAZirr on @WSAZnews for their Local Food se… https://t.co/VANIK0ZyDc
  • Thanks for having us on!! https://t.co/ljGRqyExqe
  • Special thanks to @HWVChamber for partnering with us on our latest Employer Network Breakfast!
  • You’ll hear us talk a lot about Gumption here at Coalfield. Here’s what it means to us: No complaining or whini… https://t.co/jlTBw5uXAW
  • It’s #BlackFriday And we know the perfect place to get your shopping done w/o the crazy lines!
  • Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Coalfield!
  • The holiday season is almost here, so you better start shopping! Mountain Mindful carries wonderful handmade item… https://t.co/wCYZCJCSlm
  • Huge thanks to former COO of Meta, Sheryl Sandberg and @MarshalluPres for allowing us to show you what we do here a… https://t.co/caV05a8ivn
  • As we approach #GivingTuesday we wanted to let you know that your financial contribution is helping us better the l… https://t.co/lI1TXWsZ4C
  • RT @DevelopWheeling: The @CoalfieldWV CEO shares hopes for #WestVirginia. Get your @MountainStage tickets to annual “Joy to the World” #jaz…
  • RT @WVHub: Tomorrow at the Small Communities, Big Solutions Conference, don’t miss the ACT Now panel on building a better economy for WV wi…
  • Refresh Appalachia is offering training opportunities for local farmers! If you are a local farmer, please take o… https://t.co/3bW3OMomF9
  • It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner which also means the nightmare rush of Black Friday sh… https://t.co/170mSuZQR9
  • 🇺🇸Happy Veterans Day!🇺🇸
  • Back in the studio!
  • Mark your calendars for this exciting discussion next week!
  • RT @CleanEnergyBiz: Did you hear the news about the #renewableenergy development in West Virginia? 📰 A shuttered coalfield is being transf…
  • November means Giving Tuesday is right around the corner. Your generosity is what keeps us moving Appalachia forw… https://t.co/N4h23xpeXc