OSMRE / VISTA Team Projects

Ravenswood Development Authority

Alex Weiland

OSMRE / VISTA: Alex Weiland
Supervisor: Chris Skeens
Address: 212 Walnut Street, Ravenswood, West Virginia 26164
County: Jackson
Voice Telephone: 304-531-4470
Email: revcskeens@hotmail.com
Web site: www.facebook.com/RavenswoodWV
Congressional District: 2nd
Bureau: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)


The City of Ravenswood, WV mission: to serve as a model for responsible and responsive government by planning strategically for current and changing needs; earning public trust by engaging citizens in an open and transparent manner; and following through on discussions and plans in order to create positive, meaningful change.

About the Surrounding Community

The closure of the Century Aluminum plant in 2009 left 650 residents unemployed and devastated the economy. After the plant closure, many skilled workers became under-employed; they left higher paying manufacturing jobs for lower paying service industry jobs. Ravenswood is traditionally an aluminum mining town, but the old Century Aluminum plant has been purchased by a company that will begin to extract local coal resources after the completion of their manufacturing plant. Ravenswood is an older community with 22.6% of residents above the age of 65, leaving only 51.1% of the population in the labor force (compared to 64.8% nationally). In Ravenswood, 17.4% of the population lives below the national poverty level and live 24.35% below the national per capita income level.

Project Overview

The Revitalizing Ravenswood project is designed to increase local capacity for community and economic development. The project develops plans to mobilize the community’s stakeholders and residents to engage in participatory planning for economic opportunities to move Ravenswood residents out of poverty and into a more sustainable economic future. The project comprises of three steps to ensure this outcome: (1) comprehensive planning; (2) Comprehensive Plan adoption, codification, and prioritization; and (3) economic development project implementation. To coordinate implementation of economic development programs, the OSMRE/VISTA assists in administrative action steps outlined in implementation plans, completes resource development activities, conducts community outreach for fundraising and volunteerism, and coordinates volunteers during project activities.

Sponsors and Partners

West Virginia University Department for Public Administration