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
Economic Empowerment
Location of work: Domestic
Coalfield Development
P.O. Box 1133
Wayne, WV 25570
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

$15 million in new investment attracted to southern West Virginia with over 160 new jobs created and more than 40 new businesses started in southern West Virginia.

Over 800 professional certifications facilitated for formerly unemployed people, and messaging about new sustainable economy reaching over 15 million people on a global scale.

 

  • RT @RCBI4Mfg: Wow! Farmers, food processors, distributors, retailers, marketers & more from 12 WV counties & 5 states have signed up for Sa…
  • Last evening, our CEO Brandon Dennison was honored as the recipient of the prestigious @heinzawards for Technology,… https://t.co/V61acs9uP8
  • RT @Rural_Action: Need help launching a social enterprise? Or maybe you already have one and need coaching. Help is on the way. Register no…
  • RT @ebmcqueenharris: An inspiring evening at the 24th Annual Heinz Awards. Congratulations #KevinJeromeEverson @RueMapp @sarah_szanton @ngu…
  • RT @heinzawards: “Imagine if West Virginia and Appalachia were not known as coal country...but as climate resilience country.” —Brandon Den…
  • Teamwork is vital for our Crew Members to succeed. What is something you can work on yourself that will benefit you… https://t.co/XQgnRkVgG1
  • Want to showcase your home? Check out our Take Me Home Box! The limited-edition, Take Me Home Box embraces your lo… https://t.co/tQq1ZRpeWO
  • We believe in developing the potential of Appalachian places and people as they experience challenging moments of e… https://t.co/OG9E7vERIp
  • Looking for something spooky and exciting to do this weekend? Come check out Village Renew-All Antique Mall​'s Quil… https://t.co/XRUcfRzQm6
  • Check out "Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference " https://t.co/z6Vnx73v1E @Eventbrite
  • RT @heinzawards: As founder of @CoalfieldWV, Brandon Dennison is putting unemployed young adults and laid-off coal miners back to work and…
  • RT @RefreshAppalach: We are excited that through our partnership w/ Sprouting Farms we have collectively received $1,499,993 from ARCs POWE…
  • Our communities are severally economically distressed as result of over-reliance on the coal industry. Creating new… https://t.co/Wye9qvOw4x
  • Building off of our Professional Theme (Teamwork) this month- a little motivation to lift each other up! Our Crew M… https://t.co/S2m1wERIAr
  • RT @heinzawards: “Most job training is designed to meet the needs of existing employers, but in Appalachia we have a whole economy that nee…
  • The latest blog post of last month's Crew Member Council is out now! Don't forget you can follow us live on our Twi… https://t.co/GOjNmVmblk
  • RT @Faheonline: Fahe Member @CoalfieldWV on and Randolph County Housing Authority were awarded grant funds to expand the impact of workforc…
  • I guess you could say it's... thyme to harvest. 😎 https://t.co/A5zEZK4ofE
  • Next week, Brandon will be speaking at the Notre Dame campus discussing our mission to diversify Appalachia's coal-… https://t.co/vPjw2Ot9z5