WISE, VA – MARCH 24, 2023 —  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 continued workforce development and training was closed recently for the Napoleon Hill Foundation in Wise, Va.

The funds will be used to assist with the continued development and implementation of a free online interactive course in entrepreneurial skills for high school students in the VCEDA region. A similar grant was approved for the foundation in 2021 and closed in early 2022 which, according to the application resulted in 148 students in the VCEDA region registering to date for the online course, exceeding the initial goal of 100 students. 

“With additional registrations anticipated in Spring 2023, more than 200 students total are expected to benefit from the initial VCEDA investment as well as matching funds raised, according to the application,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “The Napoleon Hill Foundation would like to build upon this success by continuing the initiative and submitted a new application for an additional up to $50,000 grant from the VCEDA Coalfield Workforce Development and Training Fund which the VCEDA board approved. Students from the VCEDA region are eligible to participate in the online program which is also 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 course, “Keys to Success,” is comprised of a series of 17 modules which students enrolled in the course can complete at their own pace and based on their own schedules. They also earn three hours of college credit upon successful completion of the class.

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. 

“The VCEDA grant is making a tremendous difference in these students’ lives,” said Don Green, Napoleon Hill executive director/CEO. “The grant is making it possible to expand the program. We are sending two of the students who have completed the course, based on recommendations from their professor, to help recruit new students. Peer-to-peer communication is one of the most encouraging methods to help share the information with this age group.”

To learn more, interested persons may visit https://www.naphill.org/keyscourse/.

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.