Beckley, W.Va. (Sept. 7, 2022) – The West Virginia Hive is poised to play a pivotal role in creating hundreds of economically diverse jobs as part of the recently-announced $62.8 million award to the Appalachian Climate Technologies(ACT) Now Coalition, led by the Coalfield Development Corporation to boost 21 coal-impacted counties in southern West Virginia.
“This is by far one of the largest economic and community development grants in the history of southern West Virginia, and those of us at the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA) and West Virginia Hive know how many benefits can be derived in our service area,” said Judy Moore deputy director of the NRGRDA and executive director of the WV Hive.
“Our organization is responsible for entrepreneurial priorities as part of the Community and Business Resilience initiative serving 13 of the 21 focus counties,” said Moore. This is one of four major objectives of the ACT NOW Coalition proposal being carried out with federal, foundation, and university support.”
Moore said the successful and ongoing WV Hive’s CO.STARTERS program, and the green business practices curriculum and training materials being developed by Alternative Fueled Vehicles (AFV) Educate are central tools to create and sustain more climate technology jobs and will help concentrate on technical assistance to women and minority startups and entrepreneurs.
“This multi-faceted project allows me the opportunity to marry two of my greatest loves –entrepreneurship and alternative energy,” continued Moore. “Before joining NRGRDA, I spent a number of years working at the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) at West Virginia University. At the NAFTC, I promoted nationwide alternative energy fuels and vehicles, and I have always believed there was tremendous potential for the Mountain State to be a leader in this area.”
The Community and Business Resilience project, led by the WV Community Development Hub, will receive more than $7 million in EDA grant funding leveraged with $2.2 million in matching funds support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and multiple other sources to help communities, small businesses, and entrepreneurs get ready for these new green jobs and economic development.
The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and the administrator of the Country Roads Angel Network. More information about the Hive can be found at https://wvhive.com/ and more details about CRAN are at https://www.wvcran.com/.