The New Economy Network of Southwest Virginia

New Economy Network LogoThe New Economy Network is a group of local citizens that focuses on sustainable economic development and transition in Southwest Virginia’s coalfields.

The New Economy Network serves as an open forum for groups and individuals engaged in economic development, diversification, and transition work in the seven counties in far Southwest Virginia. The network is open to any person who is interested in participating and who shares our common principles. To join, contact or join the Google Group.

Current Focus Areas

The New Economy Network will focus on increasing equitable land access, promoting higher education opportunities and advancing cooperative businesses in Southwest Virginia.

Increasing Equitable Land Access

Central Appalachia has a long history of inequitable distribution of land ownership and the under-taxation of large, out-of-state landholding corporations. The network is dedicated to hosting a variety of events, speakers and local officials in hopes of inspiring actions to dismantle this historic problem.

Promoting Post-Secondary Education

Network participants recognize the importance of communication and cooperation in Southwest Virginia’s education system. By assessing existing programs and meeting with local educators, the Network will identify and support education and job training opportunities that lead to livable wages and meet workforce needs within the region.

Cooperative Businesses

The network seeks to increase local knowledge on one of the most time-tested economically resilient business strategies: the consumer- or worker-based cooperative. The network will work with existing cooperatives and local business assistance programs to help promote successful cooperative development in Southwest Virginia.

Common Principles

Participants in the New Economy Network agree that these common principles bring us together and guide the conversations and actions we take as a group:

  1. Sustainable economic growth and development is necessarily intertwined with sound environmental stewardship.
  2. Issues of economic and environmental justice should always be considered and valued when making decisions about the future of our region.
  3. We are stronger through collaboration.
  4. Everyone’s voice and perspective is important and will be given equal consideration in discussions and decisions.


Founding members have outlined four bedrock goals for the network:

  1. To provide a space for individuals across our region to collaborate and share information on issues relevant to the scope of NEN.
  2. To elevate our commonly held issues on a regional and state level, and to influence decision-makers to include the perspective of local communities and stakeholders in their economic policies.
  3. To build community-level power and influence by representing the New Economy network throughout the state and region as a collaborative of individuals/groups that speaks for and lifts up our commonly held principles and goals.
  4. To grow the number of interested and engaged individuals who actively participate in the network.

NEN Entrepreneur Meeting
In 2021, the New Economy Network has decided to focus on advancing cooperative businesses, increasing equitable land access, and promoting higher education opportunities in Southwest Virginia.


The Network meets monthly on the third Wednesday to discuss upcoming events and actions. Stay up-to-date by joining our email group.

2021 Monthly NEN meetings: February 17, March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17, December 15.

Planning for 2021 with the New Economy Network
In our special end-of-the-year event, all Southwest Virginians were invited to come together virtually to discuss how the network can support sustainable economic development in 2021 and to start collaborating on a path to success in the coalfields’ emerging new economy.

Get Involved!

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