Beyond our involvement in specific projects, a cornerstone of our Economic and Businesses Development strategy has always been workforce and community development. Whether it is directly assisting with business attraction efforts, contributing to site readiness initiatives, or providing training to our community stakeholders, we work diligently to elevate our service territory.
In an effort to be a resource for our partners, AEP created Energizing Economic Development, a self-paced e-learning course designed to help community leaders have a greater impact on the future and success of their community economic development. This free program was first stood up at PSO and is being rolled out at other operating companies. More than 300 community leaders have participated to date.
Our team has also supported our various partners across the region with their grant submissions. In Appalachian Power alone, our team members participated in committees and delivered letters of support for Virginia Tech’s submission focused on the future of Transportation and Logistics as well as the Appalachian Climate Technology Coalition’s efforts to leverage federal funds to revitalize and repurpose economically distressed and coal-impacted counties in West Virginia.
AEP continues to work with our local communities to help revitalize some of the areas hit hardest by the changes in the coal industry, particularly in the heart of Appalachia. To help these states make the transition and diversify their economies, AEP remains committed to attracting new industry and jobs and empowering local leaders to take the lead in rebuilding their communities through the Appalachian Sky project.
Since being initiated in 2017, Appalachian Sky has made a difference, as evidenced by aerospace-connected economic development announcements including Thoroughbred Aviation’s decision to expand its Kentucky operations to the Huntington Tri-State Regional Airport in West Virginia. AEP also contributed to the efforts to expand Raleigh County Memorial Airport in West Virginia. With the help of grants, the airport expanded its runway and developed more than 100 acres into site-ready property for industrial development. The upgrades were key to attracting two new companies and enabling the expansion of an existing manufacturer. Appalachian Sky recently became a nonprofit, a move that opens the door to receiving more federal funding. An AEP representative serves on the board.