U.S. Economic Development Administration Invests Nearly $774,000 to Create New Employment Opportunities in West Virginia Coal Community

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $773,750 grant to Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia to establish an incubator facility that will focus on spurring and supporting rural entrepreneurship. It is estimated that this project will create 180 jobs and generate more than $14 million in private investment over the next nine years.

“EDA understands that a great idea can happen anywhere, and the agency is committed to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in rural communities,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams. “The EDA investment announced today will provide new opportunities for the people of rural West Virginia and support local efforts to diversify the economy to become more competitive in the global economy.”

EDA’s investment will help fund the construction of a business incubator facility on the first floor of the former Broaddus Hospital on the campus of Alderson Broaddus University. The new Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (CenRE) will serve the seven rural counties of Barbour, Braxton, Randolph, Upshur, Lewis, Gilmer, and Tucker.

“I am excited and extremely thankful for the EDA’s commitment to Alderson Broaddus University as shown by this extraordinary grant,” said Alderson Broadus University President, Dr. Richard Creehan. “This investment will also help jumpstart the entrepreneurial heartbeat inside our students as well as innovative job creators in the region and across West Virginia. CenRE will change the entrepreneurial culture of our great Mountain State, providing low cost state-of-the-art incubator space for budding rural entrepreneurs.”

The incubator space will offer highly professional conference space with teleconference capabilities and technology efficient for 21st century businesses.

“Alderson Broaddus thanks everyone involved in supporting our vision for the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship especially Senators Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore Capito and Congressman David McKinley who have supported and continue to support our vision for economic development in West Virginia,” said Creehan. “I also want to thank Bob Gittler, EDA Economic Development Specialist; the Region VII Planning & Development Council, specifically Shane Whitehair, Executive Director, and Bob Jacobus, Community Development Specialist for their assistance and partnership in this project.”

Alderson Broaddus University is deeply engaged in job creation and business formation. Today’s announcement comes exactly two years to the day in which Congressman McKinley held his Economic Summit on AB’s campus in 2013. At this town hall meeting, leaders from the private sector, government and economic research discussed how to develop an approach to economic growth strategies and policies to benefit the Mountain State moving forward for the next decade. Last year, the University held a round-table discussion with 33 local business owners of Barbour County where they discussed economic development, strategies and tactics. Current West Virginia House of Delegates Minority Leader Tim Miley was also present and spoke of the importance of small businesses for economic development.

President Creehan has been very active with economic development groups in Barbour County including the Chamber of Commerce, Barbour County Economic Development Authority, and Region VII Planning and Development Council, just to name a few.

CenRE will be a state-of-the-art facility, providing incubation space to tenants and services to resident companies and other companies across the seven county area. CenRE will allow the university to provide a “semi-virtual” business incubator facility to provide additional and alternate job opportunities in a region devastated by the loss of coal-related employment. Additional EDA resources are available for communities impacted by changes to the coal industry through the Obama Administration’s Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative.

This is just one among many efforts EDA is undertaking to promote entrepreneurship in rural regions. EDA recently announced its 2015 Regional Innovation Strategies program, which, in an effort to promote and support inclusion, is expected to award up to $2.5 million of a total $8 million to projects that provide services to rural areas, and applicants who create specific outreach plans to populations and communities that are underrepresented in innovation and entrepreneurship.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (eda.gov)
The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

AB is confident this incubator will generate excitement throughout the community and is hopeful that support for this initiative will grow and inspire those interested in rural entrepreneurship. Alderson Broaddus University will make more announcements regarding the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in the next few weeks.


Community Invited to Presentations Sept. 23 through Sept. 25
PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Alderson Broaddus University is hosting the Dr. Robert V. Digman Distinguished Lecture Series during homecoming WednesdayFriday, Sept. 23-25, 2015.
Wednesday, Sept. 23, our speaker is Rev. Jim Stinespring who will be presenting on the History of AB Mission Trips beginning at noon in Crim Dining Hall.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, Dr. Ken Yount will be speaking about the History of AB Football, beginning at noon in Crim Dining Hall.
The lecture series will conclude on Friday Sept. 25 with Mr. Lewis Hall discussing the History of Funkhouser Auditorium.  This will take place at the Auditorium and a ribbon cutting will be held outside to celebrate the recent renovations and installation of new seats. This ceremony will take place at 11; the lecture series will begin at 11:30, and a FREE picnic will take place at 12:30 outside Picket Library.
The Dr. Robert V. Digman Distinguished Lecture Series honors Dr. Robert V. Digman for his outstanding service to Alderson Broaddus University. He has devoted his life to the institution, its students, and continues to support the growing campus. Dr. Digman is “honored and humbled” to be recognized in this way.


School to Celebrate September 24-27th 
PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Alderson Broaddus University will be hosting a variety of events for the public as part of their Homecoming celebration “There’s no place like Homecoming” September 24-27.
A Pep Rally and Bonfire will be held Friday evening at 9 p.m. on the old soccer field. All students, alumni, and friends are invited to this spirit-filled, student-lead event.  
Immediately following, everyone on campus and in the community is invited to a FREE concert by rising star Jared Mahone at 9:30 p.m. on the old soccer field. An alumnus of Alderson Broaddus, Mahone sings a wide-range of music and is one of the most booked performers in the college market with 500+ shows across the country in the last four years. He is the winner of Verizon’s Indie Icon Competition and has appeared on the Katie Couric Show in NYC.
All community organizations are invited to participate in the annual parade, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. along Main Street. It will start near Subway and conclude at Sheetz. Spectators can set up chairs along the sidewalks and watch the 40+ units march down Main Street.
Wilcox Chapel will be full of music Saturday evening, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. as the School of Music hosts its annual homecoming concert. The cost for the concert is $10 and is payable at the door only.
Join the AB Community on Saturday to cheer on the Battlers! First, Battler football kicks-off against Central International University at 1:30 p.m. at the Multi-Sport Performance Stadium. During halftime, the 2015 Homecoming Court will be recognized and the 2015 King and Queen will be announced. Then, later that evening the women’s soccer team will compete against Salem International University at 5 p.m. followed by the men’s soccer team at 7:30 p.m. along with a 50 Years of Soccer Tailgate!
On Sunday morning, Sept. 27, the annual Homecoming Worship Service will take place at Philippi Baptist Church located at 69 Church Street in downtown Philippi. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. and all are welcome to attend.
For a complete list of events, please view the Homecoming brochure online at www.ab.edu/homecoming.
Please come and join the Alderson Broaddus University family for a weekend of community fun!

AB to Host Inaugural Disc Golf Championship

PHILIPPI, W.Va. – On Sunday Sept. 27, Alderson Broaddus University is hosting its first annual disc golf tournament, the “Villers Disc Golf Classic”, for a chance to hoist the hallowed “Orange Cup.” It will be the inaugural tournament held on the new, permanent disc golf course on the campus of AB, The Battleground Disc Golf Complex. 
The two-round event will take place at 1 p.m. and will include lunch in between the rounds. The cost to participate is $20 individually and $60 per foursome which includes greens’ fees for the day, discs rental, lunch, and two beverages while on the course. Lunch will include grilling near Erickson Alumni Center with hot dogs, hamburgers and much more. 
Registration begins at 11:30 A.M. and Pastor Jon Villers will have a small prayer service and blessing for the new course at 12:30 P.M. before the start of the event. 
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our campus to have a special event for not only our students and faculty, but for the AB family and surrounding community as well,” said tournament organizer Koby Overstreet. “It is a time of great fellowship and a great chance to showcase the true beauty of our campus by playing a fun and competitive sport like disc golf.” 
According to Lara Foster, professor of sport management, the facility has been a long time coming and with dedicated individuals and volunteers, along with the Student Government Association, disc golf is now at AB. 
“Sport Management students are learning program planning and this specific event helps them apply their knowledge and understanding of sport management concepts,” said Foster. To learn more about the sport management program, visit our website at ab.edu/academics/sport-management/ or contact Professor Foster at the information below.  
Space is limited for the event so reserve your tee time today. Registration for the day of the event is first come first serve. To reserve a spot in advance, please contact Lara Foster at 304-457-6236.