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.

 

  • We're celebrating 10 Years of Coalfield and reflecting on some of our defining moments! 2010 was our inaugural year… https://t.co/yB593glMAr
  • $50 provides one of our trainees with CPR and First Aid Training to keep them and others safe on the job. Scan the… https://t.co/Wg3JsSz2Aq
  • Our social enterprise SustainU has designed a shirt to support Blueberry Ridge Farm in Fairmont! You can get your s… https://t.co/LlwadVoP6t
  • Donations have made our work over the past 10 years possible. Donate $10 to help us continue the good work for the… https://t.co/AFUwPH4Ruf
  • We are excited to announce that we have been awarded a $1.7 million grant for the revitalization of the Nenni build… https://t.co/Sg5oOwZhk7
  • All month long, we’re celebrating 10 Years of Coalfield Development! Follow along on all of our social media channe… https://t.co/tlrK4rUrCf
  • Here's how we do what we do - our Organizational Theory of Change for Transformation and Team Principles are vital… https://t.co/bQwrGk8vkt
  • Support our goal of rebuilding the Appalachian economy from the ground up. Become a donor: https://t.co/jnoDLmFES4
  • Want to learn more about solar in our region and how you can get involved? Reach out to Solar United Neighbors! We'… https://t.co/UelcpPxabN
  • Policy is incredibly important when talking about solar power. Here's how certain policies in states in Appalachia… https://t.co/SMkO4vkNay
  • Solar power spurs economic development! Here's a breakdown of areas where solar power can influence the amount of m… https://t.co/L3NjS1yEPq
  • The demand for solar energy is high. Here's several corporations that are implementing renewable energy in their op… https://t.co/zVUJ8GSbPb
  • Solar is also more affordable than you think and has a great return on investment! You can even get a federal tax c… https://t.co/XlikUqwEBw
  • Did you know that solar is the fastest growing field in the workforce? We think solar power would be a great thing… https://t.co/IA1hsi49PL
  • Autumn Long with Solar United Neighbors is giving us an introduction to how we can use solar power as a more sustai… https://t.co/0GJoZ9niPs
  • Grace might be the most important of our Core Values. How do you live this word every day? Learn more about our Co… https://t.co/gLCrZhkm6c
  • Here's what Grit means to us! What does this word mean to you? Learn more about our Core Values and how we live th… https://t.co/hmOcrNYZYz
  • You've heard us talk about Gumption before, but what exactly do we mean? Here's our definition of Gumption and how… https://t.co/G3KWsotS0v
  • We're sharing pieces of our 2020 Strategic Plan with you over the next few weeks! Our updated Mission Statement ref… https://t.co/bRhaDK2bAt
  • As part of our 2020 Strategic Plan, we've updated our Vision Statement! This accurately represents what's we're goi… https://t.co/AVhtDWUhNT