In October 2018, Brandon Dennison, CEO of Fahe Member Coalfield Development Corporation was featured in a Forbes article on workforce development in Appalachia. Coalfield leads several social enterprises, including their work force development program, which are helping to reshape the economy in West Virginia. Coalfield envisions their successful efforts becoming replicable models in other hard-to-serve regions in the country and the world.
Mr. Dennison postulates that jobs are important; he feels we should focus on quality jobs which provide meaning and purpose along with a paycheck. These types of jobs allow a person to grow and stay rooted in a community. Coalfield’s 33-6-3 program provides a steady job as well as education in the classroom and practical life skills training. The program creates structure and confidence which allows people to break out of generational poverty.
While the structure looks different from each Member, Coalfield’s work and dreams reflect the mission of the entire Fahe Network to build communities and economies that work. Our 50+ Members are local leaders creating change in one of the hardest-to-serve regions in the country. Fahe supports these leaders with resources, capacity, and expertise which allows them to focus on serving their communities.
We are proud of the impact Coalfield has on the region and the implications their work holds for other areas of the country. We encourage you to read the article and to learn more about their mission. It is important to share and own the good work we do here in Appalachia. As one of the hardest regions to serve in the country, by displaying what is possible here, we are showing people the potential to replicate these models in other hard-to-serve areas of the country. On top of that, by displaying the positive qualities of Appalachia – the desire of people to recreate an economy and uplift their communities – we are changing the narrative around the people and the places living with poverty.