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What is Community & Economic Development?

Everything you need to know

1-77 Northbound at Exit 1 in Bluefield

What is Economic Development?

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Economic Downturn in the Coal Industry

For many decades, the number one export from the Bluefield Region has not been coal, gas or timber, but rather our youth. We have educated and exported many of our children to other regions where they can find better employment opportunities. This trend must be reversed.

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Community and Economic Development 

In April 2015, the City of Bluefield’s Board of Directors created a Community & Economic Development Department (CED). Since then, the CED has taken a three-prong approach to economic growth in the City and region:

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Three-Prong Approach

  1. To support existing business and industry to help them diversify and grow. This is done through a Business Retention & Expansion Program.

  2. Cultivate entrepreneurship and innovation. 

  3. Attract new industry, especially in the 'TEAM' sectors: Technology, Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing. 

The main goal of economic development is improving the economic well-being of a community through efforts that entail job creation, job retention, tax base incentives, and quality of life. 

As there is no single definition for economic development, there is no single strategy, policy, or program for achieving successful economic development. 

Communities differ in their geographic and political strengths and weaknesses. Each community, therefore, will have a unique set of challenges for economic development.

What is Community Development?

Community development can be understood as a planned effort to build assets that increase the capacity of residents to improve their quality of life. These assets may include several forms of community capital: physical, human, social, financial, environmental, political, and cultural.