Accelerating the pace of engineering and science.

Support the news

'Reclaiming Opportunity' In West Virginia Coal Country05:57Download

Play
In this file photo, a coal scraper machine works on a pile of coal at American Electric Power's Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia. (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)MoreCloseclosemore
In this file photo, a coal scraper machine works on a pile of coal at American Electric Power's Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia. (Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

As America turns to cleaner sources of energy, the coal industry is drying up. And West Virginia, whose economy depended on the coal industry, is suffering. The coal regions of West Virginia went into downward spiral and the state now has the largest rate of unemployment in the nation, and the highest rate of drug overdoses.

A project called "Reclaim Appalachia" aims to address the issues of generational poverty by hiring unemployed young adults to rehabilitate abandoned buildings, recycling materials and training workers while they continue their education.

Brandon Dennison is the founder of the Coalfield Development Corporation which runs "Reclaim Appalachia." He just won a J.M. Kaplan Innovation Prize for his work. He tells Here & Now's Eric Westervelt about how the program not only offers jobs, but aims to address the social and educational problems of its participants.

Guest

Host

This segment aired on December 14, 2015.

+Join the discussion
Share
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news