Press Statement

Media Advisory: ReImagine Appalachia to Hold Landmark Community Benefits and Labor Standards Summit

Contact: Jodi Hirsh, 412-326-9832, 


The virtual conference will explore how Appalachian communities can maximize the benefits of new federal investments, ensure new projects work for everyone

Appalachia —On Tuesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 25, ReImagine Appalachia is hosting a Community Benefits Summit, where speakers like Athens, Ohio Mayor Steve Patterson, Cornell’s Director of Labor Leadership Programs Kathleen Mulligan, and the Department of Labor’s Rukku Singla will highlight how community benefits and labor standards could help reimagine Appalachia. 

With billions of dollars in federal investments coming into American communities following the passage of major federal legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the aim of the event is to help prepare communities to advocate for new projects and ensure that new developments benefit everyone.

The summit will include panels and workshops, and feature experts in economic development, labor, climate and conservation, and racial and equity work. Key stakeholders from the Appalachian region will share case studies for transformational change, highlighting concrete examples and key learnings on how communities can benefit from federal investments that spur new projects. During the summit, participants will also learn how to negotiate hard agreements and use community land trusts as a tool for economic transition. 

What: Virtual Community Benefits and Labor Standards Summit

Who: Mayor Steve Patterson, Athens OH – Moderator, Kathleen Mulligan, Director of Labor Leadership Programs at The Worker Institute at Cornell University, Rukku Singla, Good Jobs Initiative, US Department of Labor. Meagan Neibler, Community Democracy Program Manager, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services,  Natalia Rudiak, Director of Special Projects, ReImagine Appalachia, Jacob Hannah, Chief Conservation Officer, Coalfield Development, WV, Tina Doose, Former Councilwoman of Braddock Borough, PA and Chair of the Mon Metro Chamber of Commerce, Patty DeMarco, Vice President of Council at Forest Hills Borough, PA, Will Tucker, Southern Program Director, Jobs to Move America, and Carl Redwood, Project Director, Pittsburgh Black Worker Center

When: Tuesday, May 23, 11AM – 3PM EST, and Thursday, May 25, 11AM – 2PM EST

Where: Register for the summit here.

Reimagine Appalachia is a coalition of labor, policy experts and community leaders who are making sure that everyone who lives here can have a good job and can put down roots for the future. For months, the coalition has been pushing Congress to pass major funding packages that create jobs, rebuild infrastructure, and address fires and floods caused by damage to the climate.