WISE, VA – JANUARY 27, 2022 An up to a $50,000 grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) Coalfield Workforce Development and Training Fund to be used for workforce development and training was closed recently for the Napoleon Hill Foundation in Wise, Va.

The funds will be used to assist with the development of a free online interactive course in entrepreneurial skills for high school students in the VCEDA region. The course, “Keys to Success,” is expected to get underway next month with a series of 17 modules which students enrolled in the course can complete at their own pace and based on their own schedules.

“In the pandemic world in which we all now live, the Napoleon Hill Foundation plans to begin an interactive online course for high school students, with the defined goal of boosting entrepreneurial business skills for those students interested in business as a career,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel of the foundation’s plans for the grant. “Students from the VCEDA region are eligible to participate in the online program which also appears to be well-aligned with VCEDA’s seed capital program which encourages entrepreneurs in the region to pursue their goals of starting and maintaining small businesses and creating jobs.”

The Napoleon Hill Foundation, currently located on the campus of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, is a 501c3 non-profit corporation originally formed in 1962 in South Carolina. 

The foundation is named after Napoleon Hill, who was born in Wise County in 1883 and who died in 1970.  His books have sold millions of copies worldwide. He is best known for his self-help book “Think and Grow Rich,” which was first published in 1937.  The tenets of Hill’s writings are based upon the concepts of freedom, capitalism, democracy and harmony. 

For many years, the foundation has held a motivational event at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in collaboration with the region’s Future Business Leaders of America students.  These students have come from several counties in Southwest Virginia and represent those students who are interested in a career in business.  Additionally, the day was proclaimed Napoleon Hill Day in Virginia and was endorsed by Virginia governors. 

“The Napoleon Hill Foundation is appreciative of the VCEDA grant and the ability to offer the course to high school seniors,” said Don Green, Napoleon Hill executive director/CEO. “It provides a great opportunity to jump start success and a college education for students taking the course.”

To learn more, interested students may visit https://www.naphill.org/keyscourse/. College credit is not yet available for the course, but Green said efforts are underway to make the course a credit course.

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.