Since 1976, the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development’s commitment to the communities of Central Appalachia has shown us that high expectations, vision and hard work are essential to accomplish results.
MACED has a vision that the lives of people and places in need in Central Appalachia will be transformed through sustainable development. To us, sustainable development means a system of viable activities, enterprises and policies that build wealth for people in need, protect or enhance the environment and support enterprising and empowered people. Appalachia is full of homegrown assets that can be harnessed to help build a stronger and more diverse economy that will work better for a broader range of people. We believe there are four ideas that will be particularly important to building an economy that creates more local wealth, creates good stable jobs and protects our environment.
1) Growing the Conversation — Solutions to hard problems will only emerge from hard conversations across lines we usually don’t cross.
2) Creating a Vision — At every step, we have to ask what the people want and work toward that vision of a brighter economic future.
3) Supporting Leaders — Existing and emerging leaders need support to grow and develop communities and regional efforts toward a broader vision.
4) Expanding Development Strategies — We believe there are four key strategies to grow and expand support for economic development that makes a greater difference:
• Provide support for local enterprises and entrepreneurs through technical assistance, classroom-based training and access to start-up money.
• Grow key sectors like local foods, sustainable wood products, energy efficiency, health care and tourism.
• Provide workers with financial support, retraining and job-matching opportunities tied to growing sectors.
• Coal severance tax, local philanthropy and state and federal funds should be invested in infrastructure, education and development strategies.
MACED creates economic alternatives in four key sectors to demonstrate that a new Central Appalachian economy is possible with the proper investment. Those sectors are enterprise development, energy, forestry and policy.
To learn more about MACED, and our programs, including our Appalachian Transition work, visit our website: www.maced.org.
MACED creates economic alternatives in order to make Appalachian communities better places to live. www.maced.org
The Mountain Association for Community Economic Development works with people in eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia to create economic opportunity, strengthen democracy and support the sustainable use of natural resources.