Refresh Appalachia: Providing farming opportunities for those displaced by the coal industry

Refresh Appalachia is aiming to transform the lives of young people and those displaced from the coal mining industry in southern West Virginia, by providing training in farm and food entrepreneurship.

The non-profit organisation was created by Coalfield Development  in 2015. Refresh Appalachia applies Coalfield Development’s 33-6-3 framework in Lincoln County to grow an intensive agriculture industry and skilled workforce.

Refresh Appalachia is one of seven social enterprises that Coalfield Development runs, which all exist to build a new economy in the wake of the end of the coal industry.

Under the 33-6-3 model, a Refresh Appalachia participant spends 33 hours working for an income; devotes six hours a week to core community college and business classes for an associate’s degree in entrepreneurship; and commits three hours per week to life skills coaching including parenting, financial management, and goals.

Coalfield Development offers low-income residents a contract to undergo training in sustainable construction, solar technology and artisan-based entrepreneurship. Trainees also earn stipends to work on their associate’s degrees and receive life skills mentorship before Coalfield Development assists them in finding full-time work.

Since 2012, Coalfield Development has created more than 40 on-the-job training positions and grown financial wealth for low-income people by more than $3.1 million. The corporation

Refresh Appalachia

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. Follow Rosa on Twitter.

 

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