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Strengthening economic resilience in Appalachian communities is focus of newly funded project

Posted: October 26, 2016

The Northeast Center is part of a research team that was recently awarded a grant to explore and document strategies and policies that local leaders can use to enhance the future economic prospects of coal-impacted communities throughout the Appalachian Region. The project, titled "Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachian Communities," is funded for nine months by a $149,998 POWER grant administered by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Downstream Strategies, based in Morgantown, WV, is leading the research, which will use the Center’s seminal county-level economic resilience measure, published in The Review of Regional Studies.

Access the Review of Regional Studies paper here.

The research will comprise four key components:

  1. develop a comprehensive, quantitative framework to explore economic resilience;
  2. identify a series of best-practice strategies for strengthening local economic resilience;
  3. conduct up to 10 in-depth case studies; and
  4. produce a concise guidebook that interprets and integrates findings of the research, written specifically for local economic development practitioners.


The POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative is a community-based federal government effort involving ten federal agencies working together to align, leverage and target a range of federal economic and workforce development programs and resources to assist communities and workers that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy sector. More information about the POWER initiative is available here: https://www.eda.gov/power/.