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Business and Industry

Appalachian Angels: Growing High-Tech Businesses in Western North Carolina
by Fred D. Baldwin

Photo of David McConville

The Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council and the Blue Ridge Angel Investors Network offer a variety of services to support entrepreneurs working to build high-tech companies in Appalachian North Carolina.


Rural Action: Revitalizing Appalachian Communities
by Fred D. Baldwin

Rural Action is helping Ohio communities create sustainable economies, promote sustainable communities, and foster a sustainable environment by focusing on the value of local assets, including farms, streams, and forests.


Kentucky's Creative Marketing Boosts Artisan Businesses
by Carl Hoffman

Two eastern Kentucky initiatives are giving local artisans new opportunities for marketing their products and helping attract tourism dollars to the area.


West Virginia's Shop Window on the World
by Fred D. Baldwin

photo of Tim Butcher, GTR chief engineer

West Virginia businesses are competing successfully in foreign markets, thanks to help from the West Virginia Development Office's International Division.


Creating Opportunity through Information Technology
by Fred D. Baldwin

photo of A. Anderson Huber Cyber Campus manager Tr

The Blue Ridge Business Development Center uses information technology to spur business growth and expansion in rural Sparta, North Carolina. Its three-part approach: technical support for local businesses, hands-on technology training, and incubator assistance for small firms.


Shoals Commercial Culinary Center: Helping Specialty Food Businesses Take Off
by Carl Hoffman

Specialty food business start-ups are growing strong with help from Alabama's Shoals Commercial Culinary Center, which offers step-by-step business and marketing assistance and the use of a fully equipped commercial kitchen.


Investing in a High-Tech Future
by Fred D. Baldwin

Technology is the wave of the economic future in West Virginia, where the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation is helping high-tech firms flourish.


West Virginia's Showcase for Entrepreneurs
by James E. Casto

Photo of Colleen Weaks of Summer Kitchen Pottery

A retail store in downtown Charleston, West Virginia, run by the nonprofit Center for Economic Options is helping 200 entrepreneurs and artists reach new markets and expand their business opportunities.


Appalachian Harvest, Growing for the Future
by Lynda McDaniel

Photo of farmer Martin Miles

Targeting value-added agricultural products, a program in southwestern Virginia is finding ways to make local farmland more competitive while preserving the environment.


Business Clusters: Building on Local Strengths
by Fred D. Baldwin

Photo of Thompson Maple president,  Chuck Henness

Pennsylvania's Wood Cluster Initiative is one example of how public agencies can help business clusters thrive, creating jobs and adding values to local resources.


Ecotourism Takes Off in the "Heart of Appalachia"
by Lynda McDaniel

Photo of Rick Mullins on his family-owned farm

Local entrepreneurs in southwestern Virginia are finding new business opportunities in the area's fastest-growing industry with the help of the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority.


Keeping the Line Open: The Mississippian Railway Cooperative
by Fred D. Baldwin

Photo of railway conductor Charles Holloway

In the mid 1980s Itawamba County nearly lost its railroad, but though a series of public-private partnerships, the community found a way to keep the trains rolling.


Short Line Railroads: Local Lifelines for Business
by Fred D. Baldwin

Photo of Ohio Central Railroad System train

Short line railroads are an important, although sometimes overlooked, resource for economic development. The success of the Ohio Central Railroad System shows the impact short line rail can have on a rural community.


Colleges and Communities: Increasing Local Capacity
by Fred D Baldwin

Photo of Jackie Cornett, owner of Fields Feed

Community colleges in Appalachia are taking a leadership role in helping boost local economies and expand educational opportunities through the national Rural Community College Initiative.


Learning to Work Smarter
by Fred D. Baldwin

Photo of welding student Katie Mattison

Partnering with area industry, the Alfred State College of Technology in New York's Southern Tier is training future workers for high-skill manufacturing jobs.


Providing a Home for Start-Ups
by Carl Hoffman

Photo of Jerry Davis, executive director of SEC

At Alabama's Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, business counseling and support give small first a strong start and a greater chance of long-term success.


Building for the Future
by Fred D. Baldwin

The experiences of two Appalachian counties—Tishomingo County, Mississippi, and Muskingum County, Ohio—show how investing in infrastructure pays off in the long run.


Infrastructure: Foundation for Development
by Fred D. Baldwin

Public investments in infrastructure are leveraging private funds and creating new jobs at an impressive rate, according to a recent study of Appalachian Regional Commission-supported projects.


Mining Fresh Water for Aquaculture
by Carl Hoffman

New aquaculture ventures are taking hold in Appalachia, thanks to innovative techniques developed by West Virginia's Freshwater Institute.


Tourism Rides High in the Southern Alleghenies
by Lynda McDaniel

Bicycle tourism is big business in Pennsylvania's Southern Alleghenies region, and a public-private coalition aims to expand it into a year-round venture.


Launching Technology Jobs
by Fred D. Baldwin

Connecting entrepreneurs with knowledge and capital is the goal of Technology 2020, a public-private partnership that's helping technology firms throughout Tennessee take off.


A Factory without Walls: Microbusinesses in Appalachia
by Fred D. Baldwin

Stimulating the growth and expansion of small businesses is the goal of Garrett County, Maryland's MicroWorks program.


Starting with the Business Basics
by Carl Hoffman

Southwestern Virginia's BusinesStart has been helping entrepreneurs since 1993 with access to information and small loans. The foundation of the program is its Business Basics training.


Special Report: President Clinton Visits Appalachia
by James E. Casto

Jackson County, Kentucky, was President Clinton's first stop on a six-state tour aimed at stimulating investment in areas left out of the nation's economic boom.


BIC Makes it Happen
by Carl Hoffman

Tompkins County, New York's Business Innovation Center uses "intellectual capital" to help local entrepreneurs succeed and grow.


A Caring Company
by James E. Casto

Simonton Windows, a Ritchie County, West Virginia, manufacturer of vinyl windows, provides not only good jobs but also a good example of corporate citizenship, with its generous support of local schools and civic efforts.


Growing Your Own
by Fred D. Baldwin

The wide range of assistance offered to local business owners through an outreach office of the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center is making a difference in rural Greene County, Pennsylvania.


Going Global Pays Off
by Carl Hoffman

Intensive, hands-on help from the Alabama International Trade Center is giving the state's small and medium-sized companies the boost they need to enter the export market.


Alabama's "Waste Not, Want Not" Help to Small Business
by Fred D. Baldwin

An innovative waste-reduction program in Alabama is helping businesses work smarter and stretch resources further. A squad of retired engineers is providing the know-how.


Small is Big Business in Eastern Tennessee
by Fred D. Baldwin

Small businesses are major job generators in today's economy. The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is working to create jobs in Appalachian Tennessee by helping home-grown businesses to take root and grow.


Sustaining the Harvest
by Elizabeth Hunter

A new breed of sustainable industries is being fostered in the Clinch Mountain area along the Virginia-Tennessee border. The goal: to revive the economy and protect the environment.


ANDROS Does the Dirty Work

A remote-controlled robot has made REMOTEC a world leader in its field. REMOTEC is one of a number of success stories from Valley Industrial Park, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


Risk Is Their Business
by Fred D. Baldwin

A Pennsylvania local development district has put its money into helping local businesses start up and grow as an avenue to job creation.


A Georgia City Takes a Chance on Success
by Fred D. Baldwin

A city in the Georgia mountains took a gamble when it lured an innovative but unproven manufacturer to its new municipal industrial park. It's a win-win situation for everyone, and for the environment, too.

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