WeathWorks is an approach to local and regional economic development that brings together and connects community assets to meet market demands in ways that build capacities and livelihoods that are sustainable over time.
Our approach aims to advance a region’s economic prosperity and self-reliance, strengthening existing and emerging sectors to increase individual and community wealth. It works for people, businesses and organizations and in communities of all sizes, shapes and success levels.
The mechanism for reaching these ends are wealth creating value chains that build deep collaboration between links and relationships along the chain. Value chain links include; public sector entities, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, colleges, universities, consumer groups and individuals.
A cohort of organizations across the United States is forming a National Network of regional hubs committed to sharing their on the ground experience with the WealthWorks approach and principles. The network of regional hubs functions as a learning community, committed to learning from each other.
Regional hubs provide training and technical assistance for practitioners and communities to connect and learn with organizations implementing WealthWorks on the ground. Hubs support work at the local, state and regional level. Regional hubs have created economic opportunity nationally in the development of value chains such as; agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, labor, downtown revitalization and the energy sector.
At this gathering, the WealthWorks Regional Hubs will come together to: clearly articulate our niche in doing economic development differently; finalize structure of the network; further define the network leadership; establish and maintain national presence; and, promote inclusivity of all partners.
Current regional hubs include: Central Appalachian Network, Communities Unlimited, Community Roots, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Rural Development Initiative and Region 5. The hubs are supported by the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.
This network gathering is invitation only. For more information, please contact, Ines Polonius, Communities Unlimited, ines.polonius [at] communitiesu.org, 479-443-2700 or visit www.weathworks.org.
Ines Polonius (Communities Unlimited)
Carol Cohen (Rural Community Assistance Partnership)