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 firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Google Group.
Current Focus Areas
The New Economy Network is focusing on increasing equitable land access, advancing entrepreneurship and promoting workforce support 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.
The network seeks to aid local entrepreneurs as Southwest Virginia shifts away from a dependence on an extractive economy. Our initiatives include connecting new entrepreneurs with resources for their start-ups, transitioning small businesses into new hands as owners retire, and working to facilitate a ‘local-first’ mindset for consumers.
Network participants recognize the importance of providing support for existing and incoming workers in Southwest Virginia. By assessing existing programs and listening to local communities, the Network will work to provide necessary resources such as mental health support, childcare, and accessible housing to facilitate equitable and accessible participation in the workforce.
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:
- Sustainable economic growth and development is necessarily intertwined with sound environmental stewardship.
- Issues of economic and environmental justice should always be considered and valued when making decisions about the future of our region.
- We are stronger through collaboration.
- 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:
- To provide a space for individuals across our region to collaborate and share information on issues relevant to the scope of NEN.
- 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.
- 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.
- To grow the number of interested and engaged individuals who actively participate in the network.
The Network meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 6 pm to discuss upcoming events and actions. Stay up-to-date by joining our email group.
2022 Monthly NEN meetings: January 19, February 15, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17, September 21, October 19, November 16, December 21.
Planning for 2022 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 2022 and to start collaborating on a path to success in the coalfields’ emerging new economy.