The WestEdge Factory is a 96,000 square foot abandoned clothing factory located in Westmoreland neighborhood of Huntington. It was purchased in 2014 by Coalfield Development Corporation to house its many operations that hire and train unemployed people. Coalfield incubates and grows a family of social enterprises in economic fields it believes have the potential to diversify the regional economy and create good jobs. Chosen fields need to have triple-bottom- line value (people, planet, profit). Current enterprises include: deconstruction of buildings; construction; woodworking; upcycling materials reclaimed from deconstruction jobs; urban agriculture; solar energy training; WECAN Business Support Center; and wholesale and retail sales of reclaimed woods and architectural salvage.
Each enterprise has a president who is the entrepreneur responsible for its success and is staffed by work crews according to the 33-6- 3 model. As a result, these new economic fields, the entrepreneurs pioneering them, the crew members working within them and the region hosting them can develop toward full potential. Individuals in the training program are hired onto work crews that staff the Coalfield’s social enterprises. Each week, crewmembers complete 33 hours of paid work, 6 credit hours of higher education and 3 hours of personal development mentorship. At the end of a two-year contract, crew members have gained invaluable work experience and work skills, earned an associate degree and gained clarity on life goals as well as personal assets to attain those goals.
To date, over 6 million dollars has been raised from a variety of federal sources such as the EDA, USDA, and the ARC, national foundations and corporations, loans and local philanthropy for these initiatives.
The WestEdge Factory encompasses the following initiatives, all of which are catalytic in nature:
The River to Rail Project is an effort to revitalize the West End of Huntington and the Old Central City Business District working through a multi-stakeholder group of residents, businesses, government agencies and organizations. The vision encompasses both community and economic development as well as the development of a tourism economy.
Key initiatives involve the following:
The award money, as well as any funds donated from individuals/businesses/organizations, is given to the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, our region’s community foundation that controls the allocation of the funds to the projects as required by competition parameters.
Donations may also be made by check. Please make payable to The Foundation for the Tri-State Community, Inc.
Their address is:
Foundation for the Tri-State Community, Inc.
916 5th Avenue, Suite 403
P.O. Box 7932
Huntington, WV 25779-7932
Please put "ABC Fund" as well as the specific project name in the memo line.