Recording and Presentation Slides Now Available for “Economic Diversification in Coal-Reliant Regions” Webinar

The decline of the coal industry is having major ramifications in communities and regions across the country that have been historically reliant upon this energy source for jobs, a tax base, and sense of identity.  In light of these changes, many coal-reliant communities are seeking opportunities to diversify and strengthen their economies through a variety of place-based efforts that tap into local and regional assets.  These include  supporting displaced workers with training opportunities, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, embracing placemaking and main street redevelopment, and exploring new opportunities in tourism, energy, and other sectors.

Click here to download the Power Point slides from the webinar

On March 22, the NADO Research Foundation hosted a webinar featuring two regions that participated in last year’s ‘Coal-Reliant Communities Innovation Challenge’ and are proactively moving forward with diversification strategies and goals.  As part of the Challenge, over the course of a year the NADO Research Foundation partnered with the National Association of Counties (NACo) to host three workshops across the country which brought together a total of 23 teams and over 200 participants from 10 states to discuss opportunities to diversify and grow economies, create jobs, and explore emerging opportunities.

This webinar featured representatives from the Big Sandy Area Development District in Eastern Kentucky and the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments who shared how changes in the coal industry are impacting their regions and workforce, what efforts are currently underway to support their regional economies through key partnerships, and what local assets have been identified to drive future economic development.  This webinar will be of interest to communities and regions located in coalfields, are home to coal-fired power plants, or are part of coal transportation networks and/or coal-related supply chain industries.  It is also relevant to any region that is looking for examples for diversifying its economy to be more resilient to unforeseen economic shocks.



Questions or comments?  Please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected].

This webinar was presented with support of a grant from the US Economic Development Administration.  Thank you!


Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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