Press Release

New Economy Network looking to 2021 at November meeting


Austin Counts, New Economy Field Coordinator,, (276) 219-2751

Southwest Virginia — The New Economy Network will host a virtual meeting on November 18th, from 6 – 8 p.m., to discuss the network’s goals for 2021. All are invited to join the discussion of ideas and insights for supporting a transitioning economy in Southwest Virginia.

To attend, individuals should contact Austin Counts at or (276) 219-2751, or respond to the Looking to 2021 with the New Economy Network event on the Southwest Virginia’s New Economy Facebook page.

On the agenda are barriers to land access and ownership, promoting existing educational and job training programs, and the development of business cooperatives as a part of Southwest Virginia’s changing economy.

“Far Southwest Virginia faces a series of economic challenges. Meeting these challenges is going to require greater citizen participation and cooperation than ever before. The New Economy Network is one effort to promote this process,” says David Rouse, retired University of Virginia-Wise professor and member of Southwest Virginia’s New Economy Network.

Land access, a focus of the network throughout 2020, will be re-introduced as a potential topic for 2021 to help address the inequitable ownership patterns stemming from large absentee landowners in the region. The education and job training advancement discussion will center around the role colleges play in addressing regional workforce needs and in the economy of Southwest Virginia. Finally, the group will discuss how the network can best advocate for customer- or worker-owned businesses as the region continues to weather economic hardships.

The New Economy Network (NEN) of Far Southwestern Virginia is a regional citizens’ group that focuses on sustainable economic development and transition in Southwest Virginia’s Coalfields. Sign up to be a part of future New Economy Network discussions by contacting Austin Counts or go to Southwest Virginia’s New Economy Facebook page


Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.


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