Preparing the Next Generation for Appalachia's Economic Transition

Central Appalachia is engaged in a period of economic transition. While industries related to coal and labor-intensive manufacturing have historically provided the region’s economic base, their presence in Appalachia is declining. This decline has allowed new economic sectors such as clean energy and local food production to emerge. While the decline of previously stable industries brings with it significant economic instability, it also offers Appalachia the opportunity to focus on the long-term well-being of its people and its communities. This economic transition allows regionally-based industries to prosper while also protecting and supporting the environmental and social well-being of the region.

Our ability to make this transition a reality depends upon increasing the capacity of organizations and stakeholders working to address the systemic problems of the region. Acting upon that conviction, the Appalachian Transition Fellowship (AppFellows) seeks to increase the connectivity and capacity of Appalachian institutions and leaders while fostering a deep understanding of the complexities and opportunities needed to create a just and sustainable Appalachian economy.