The National Organization of Counties (NACo), has partnered with the National Association of Development

Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation to launch an exciting new program: Innovation Challenge for Coal-Reliant Communities. We are thrilled to announce that McDowell County has been selected as one of seven teams to participate in the program’s inaugural workshop!

The program aims to provide coal-reliant counties and communities with the tools they need to re-imagine their communities’ economic futures, and blueprints to begin moving forward. There are three competitions slated for this year.

Winning teams will participate in intensive, three-day workshops led by experts and designed to provide region-specific guidance and information.

The first workshop will take place April 22 – 24, 2015 in Pikeville, KY. The McDowell County Board of Education,

McDowell County Commission and Reconnecting McDowell, Inc. will represent the only West Virginia team selected in this round. Other winning teams have representatives hailing from Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado.

There is still time to assemble a team and apply for a workshop this year! NACo and NADO will be holding two more workshops this year. The second one will be in Grand Junction, Colorado from September 16 – 18, 2015 (application opens May 25th and closes July 17th). The final workshop will take place in our very own Charleston, West Virginia from

November 18 – 20, 2015 (application opens August 31st and closes September 25th). Find our more information about this exciting program on NACo’s website: www.naco.org/programs/csd/Pages/Innovation-Challenge.aspx

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