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

2019 CAN Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening

This past November, the Central Appalachian Network hosted its 2nd Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening at Tamarack in Beckley, WV. Over 100 […]

Read MoreIn Clean Energy, Creative Placemaking, Equity, Food systems, Stories

CAN Organizational Equity Policies Webinar

On October 29th CAN hosted its first Equity webinar. It focused on concrete ways to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion […]

Read MoreIn Equity, Public Education

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Clean Energy Creative Placemaking Food Hub Food systems Guest Post Healthy Food Access Publication Public Health Research Stories Value Chains

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"This bill will codify into law the devaluing of human life, the disregard of empathy for hard-working families and the entrenching of a loss of dignity for all of Kentucky's workers."

Read Bree and Ben's powerful op-ed on how Senate Bill 1 would negatively affect their farm business and KY communities 👉

☎️ Then call 1-800-372-7181 and urge your Senator to vote NO on SB 1.


The bill has moved quickly through the Senate and is expected to receive its final hearing Thursday, January 30th (tomorrow) at 10am.

"Hello my name is _________ and as your constituent I urge you to vote no on Senate Bill 1. This bill would [insert talking points below and/or your story here]. No amendment will make this bill tolerable. Vote NO on SB 1. Thank you."

Senate Bill 1 targets our immigrant families which make up a large part of Kentucky's agricultural workforce. The bill would require employees of state agencies who receive federal funding to report information to ICE about individuals they suspect to be undocumented. This would bill would ultimately heighten racial profiling, sow mistrust in our communities, and put our neighbors and ag workers at risk of deportation. Furthermore, the bill would force local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws which exposes them to expensive lawsuits in cases of constitutional violations.
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You can now buy custom made products produced by our Crew Members here in Appalachia at Saws Edge Woodshop. Oh yeah, and they're available online! Check out and see what we've got in stock for you. #sawsedge #coalfieldcrew ... See MoreSee Less

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