Virginia Community Capital (VCC) was named as a participating partner in a project selected with 12 others across the country under the Rural Jobs Accelerator and Innovation Challenge, a new national initiative announced by the Obama Administration on August 1. “Appalachian Spring: Using Asset-Based and Creative Economy Methods to Catalyze Rural Job Acceleration” creates a broad-based infrastructure for comprehensive economic revitalization by delivering training and long-range plans directed toward job and revenue creation around five clusters (crafts, music, local foods, outdoor recreation, and broadband) and over 1,000 assets. The project formalizes a process for building upon the best of Southwest Virginia through activated community development, rural tourism, and the recruitment of high-tech businesses and entrepreneurs.
The lead agency for Appalachian Spring is ‘Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network working closely with the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation and The Crooked Road. All three organizations have been involved in decade-long effort to revitalize the economy of Southwest Virginia combining Creative Economy economic development with traditional methods.
As part of the project, VCC will provide technical assistance to rural entrepreneurs and localities to encourage investment and job creation throughout a 19-county area. Further, VCC will provide an immediate boost in connecting capital to potential project development, having committed $5 million in loan capital towards this project.
To learn more about the project, click here