RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Former First Lady of West Virginia Gayle Manchin took a tour of Raleigh County Wednesday, September 8, 2021 as part of her role as Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
One of the stops on her tour: the future Fruits of Labor location on Neville Street in Beckley. The ARC focuses on providing funding towards projects in coal-impacted communities.
“All of West Virginia actually is a coal-impacted community,” said Manchin. “But when you look at things and how you can work regionally and how you can work across county lines, across city lines, that makes a big difference.”
Part of the former First Lady’s visit to her hometown was to check on economic investments from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The ARC provided $1.5 million in funding through a POWER grant to three Fruits of Labor locations across the state.
Fruits of Labor is in the process of opening locations in Montgomery and Beckley. The funding is distributed through multiple partners across the state who assist with the implementation and organization of Fruits of Labor, as well as job placements after the program is completed.
“We work with Workforce West Virginia to provide placement of employees within multiple businesses that are a part of this program,” said Tammy Jordan, President of Fruits of Labor.
Manchin said she supports the mission of Fruits of Labor and its goal to address addiction and recovery efforts in the Mountain State.
“Working to not only give people support that are in recovery, but actually start building job skills that give them not only a way to survive, but a way to thrive,” said Manchin.
Jordan said Fruits of Labor in Beckley will not open for a few months since the city plans to close on the building and make renovations for the incoming business.