Brushy Fork Annual Institute

Keynote Presentation

Executive Director, Coalfield Development Corporation
Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.

Keynote speaker Brandon Dennison is a social entrepreneur from West Virginia who is also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Coalfield Development Corporation in Wayne, West Virginia.

This social enterprise operates an innovative on-the-job training mentorship program called the Quality Jobs Initiative. This initiative employs trainees full-time to construct affordable housing, deconstruct dilapidated housing, and to build and sell furniture from reclaimed building materials—from which more than 40% of the program’s operating revenue is derived.

Program participants not only benefit from quality employment, they also pursue a degree at a local community college while on the clock. Their work week also includes spending three hours participating in life skills training to develop practical skills in areas such as financial literacy.

Dennison will talk about how economic inclusion, shared prosperity, and Appalachian values come together in this unique organizational mission, which is realized one day, one tenant, and one crew member at a time.


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