McDowell County’s Jennifer Justice among those selected as Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows

5 West Virginians selected to Represent the state in Intensive Regional Leadership Development Program.

On September 26, 2023, at the ARC Roadshow on Building Community Capacity — The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) named:

· Summer Hartley, Associate Vice President, West Virginia University Health Affairs Institute, Morgantown

· Jennifer Justice, Executive Director, McDowell County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Welch

· Jennifer Light, Program Director of Industrial Technologies, Allegany College of Maryland, Ridgeley

· Kalyn Obiozor-Dorey, Community Coaching Associate, West Virginia Community Development Hub, Huntington

· Jona Rinard, Dean of Transfer and Public Service, Washington State Community College, Williamstown

To participate in the 2023-2024 class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a free leadership and economic development training opportunity for individuals currently living and/or working in one of ARC’s 13 Appalachian states. The 2023-2024 class comprises a diverse network of professionals representing all 13 Appalachian states and a wide spectrum of perspectives and sectors, including tourism, healthcare, education, civil service, and more.

The nine-month curriculum is anchored by six multi-day seminars across the Appalachian region focusing on each of ARC’s strategic investment priorities, which aim to strengthen economic and community growth in Appalachia. The fourth class will run from October 2023 through July 2024, focusing on skill-building seminars and best practice reviews to prepare fellows to:

· Design effective economic development project proposals

· Integrate community assets into long-term economic development strategies.

· Identify resources available to spark economic and community development.

· Locate and access investment capital from a variety of public and private sources.

· Prepare competitive applications for public grant opportunities.

· Use expanded connections and leadership skills to create strong regional partnerships.

“Growing and supporting the next generation of Appalachian leaders is integral to the future success of our region,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “I send my sincerest congratulations to the newest round of Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows, as well as my appreciation for all the work and passion they put into helping their communities thrive and compete.”

Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows were selected via a competitive application process to reflect the Appalachian region’s wide range of economic development challenges, opportunities, and strategies.

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