Working for a more just and sustainable Appalachia.

The Central Appalachian Network (CAN)’s mission is to develop and deploy economic strategies that build wealth in local communities, conserve natural and cultural resources, and empower marginalized communities. We work in collaboration across sectors, partnering with other non-profits, community groups, funders, educational institutions, local government, and private business. CAN actively pursues economic transition in Central Appalachian communities through a variety of economic sectors and market-based strategies, and currently focuses on:

Food Systems Clean Energy Creative Placemaking

How We Work

CAN is a network of networks, anchored by a Steering Committee of 7 non-profit organizations. CAN’s sector-focused networks coordinate regional analysis and strategies in areas like Food & Ag, Clean Energy, and Creative Placemaking. Our network of practitioner partners includes over 50 different organizations working on community economic development, including non-profits, local government agencies, lenders, community groups, social enterprises, and academic institutions. CAN’s roles include supporting peer-to-peer learning, collaborative strategies, organizational capacity-building, cross-sector partnership, demonstration projects, in-person convening, and field-building research & publications.

View Map of Network

Events & Happenings

There is a lot happening across our region every day! To help share, promote, and keep track of all the activities CAN partners are involved in, use this shared calendar to share information about your upcoming events and learn about other happenings.

View & Submit Events

Stories & Resources

Winding Road Stories: Sunflower Bakery (Appalachian Ohio)

Sunflower Bakery sits on a busy Nelsonville Public Square. There is a sense of vibrancy here: as I walk down the street, older and younger couples pass by, workers are cleaning up the square’s central fountain, and cars slowly drive past. I step into the bakery, and it is bright and warm. The smell of fresh bread hits me as soon as I open the door. I am greeted by two women, Rosemary behind the counter, and Liz Florentino, the owner. 

Read MoreIn Creative Placemaking, Guest Post

HERBalachia: Creative Placemaking in Unicoi County, TN

HERBalachia welcomed our first class of herbal students in 2017. Fourteen of those 30 students were medical professionals, which indicated to me that herbs appeal to more than gardening hobbyists and flower children.  Since our first year, the school has expanded to include a second training year for health professionals, and this year we will offer our community the Sassafras Moon Herbal Festival on September 7.

Read MoreIn Creative Placemaking, Guest Post

More posts by topic:

Clean Energy Climate Change Food systems Guest Post Healthy Food Access Policy Publication Public Health Research Stories Value Chains

Get social on

Yesterday, we participated in the Earth Day celebration held at Marshall University. It was a huge success with lots of great dialogue with unique and creative booths. A fellow booth even bought a West Virginia piece from Saw's Edge and put it on display at their booth. People also got a chance to use the SustainU @shirt kiosk unit as well. Thanks to all who came out! ... See MoreSee Less

We're excited to announce our first speaker at the ACEnet WIB Conference next month! Join Megan Riddlebarger (Sycamore Run Early Childhood Center founder and Entrepreneur in Residence at the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE) program at Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs), for “What Are You Selling, and Who’s Buying” – Clarifying Your Value Proposition and Eliminating Barriers to Success.

A value proposition is a clear statement that explains how your product solves customers' problems or improves their situation, delivers specific benefits, and tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition.

This session is for entrepreneurs at any stage of business development! Our discussion will include reflective activities and some actionable takeaways. Be sure to register today!
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Find out what the folks over at Refresh Appalachia have been up to to prepare for the farmer market season!
#refreshappalachia #refresh #gardening #farmtotable
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