In early 2015, a group of philanthropic foundations joined forces to create the Just Transition Fund to support coal-impacted communities working on transition issues. The Fund is a $450,000 fund created by national and regional foundations to rapidly award capacity building grants to help coalfield and coal plant-impacted communities better prepare for economic transition and compete for the Federal POWER Initiative grants.
The fund is a model for using public/private partnerships to advance economic transition in these coal-impacted communities.Read more
Take a peek into some of the innovative efforts to advance the economic transition in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Below is a video where we highlight some successful efforts in the local food, health, renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. These examples punctuate the opportunities that unite the entire Central Appalachian region.
How did you get involved with the Appalachia Funders Network?
The Blue Grass Community Foundation has fund holders in 19 Eastern Kentucky counties and five Community Endowments with local advisory boards in Appalachia Kentucky. It is through this work that we became involved in the Appalachia Funders Network.Read more
How did you get involved with community development?
Upon graduating from college I moved back to Virginia and took a job at a nonprofit organization funded mostly by the Job Training and Partnership Act. When this funding was replaced by the Workforce Investment Act, the nonprofit I worked for decided to dissolve. I had the unfortunate opportunity of being charged with closing down a program that had been serving the community for 18 years. During this time, I became very familiar with the opportunities and challenges of the nonprofit sector, particularly how fragile they are and how much the ebb and flow of fundraising can impact communities. From there I went to the West Virginia development office and worked in their Community and Economic Development department. Eventually, I was recruited by BB& T to lead Community Development activities in West Virginia and Kentucky. These transitions have been fortunate because I can draw upon experience and knowledge from the Nonprofit, Government, and Private Sectors to my work in community and economic development.Read more