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The Alliance of Champion Communities is a community-based, citizen-led partnership that assists West Virginia communities in becoming more economically competitive by providing education, technical assistance, and the sharing of best practices in community development.
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Empowerment from within...
The Alliance of West Virginia Champion Communities inspires leadership by example. Those who participate learn how to facilitate meetings, develop agendas, conduct surveys and network with other leaders. Members mentor emerging community leaders in structuring projects, writing grant applications, organizing volunteers and other important leadership skills.
Wyoming County Champion Community Wyoming County map


Richard Browning
State Senator West Virginia District 9
Director, Coalfield Express Highway System
Wyoming County Sheltered Workshop
Office: 304-357-7807
Home: 304-732-6707

Christy Laxton
Executive Director, Wyoming County Economic Development Authority
Office: 304-732-6707
Cell: 304-890-1338
Fax: 304-732-6963

Jeffrey Lusk
Executive Director, Hatfield-McCoy Trails Authority

Earl Smith
Executive Director, Mountain Heart
Executive Director, Integrated Resources, Inc.
Executive Director, Wyoming County Workshop, Inc.
Office: 304-732-6707
(304) 682-8271

About Wyoming County Champion Community Organization

Wyoming County Champion Community (WCCC) was created in 1994 to make an application for a designation as a federal enterprise community. A comprehensive strategic plan was formulated to address community and economic development needs. "This plan provided more partnerships for our county and a plan for making the county a better place in the future," said Christy Laxton, Executive Director of Wyoming County Economic Development Authority (EDA).

The original board members represented the Wyoming County Commission (Harold Hayden, Russ Davis, and Ed Harless), the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority (Jeffrey Lusk), the Wyoming County Opportunity Council (Earl Smith) and the Town of Gilbert (Mayor Tim Rutledge). All of these community leaders have since left these positions except Earl Smith who may be contacted at 304-682-8274.

Although the Champion Community is no longer active, its efforts resulted in formation of the Wyoming County Planning Committee (WCPC). The planning group maintains progress in improving the business climate according to initiatives defined by Wyoming County's Strategic Plan. The three main objectives are:

  • Encouraging citizens to buy from local businesses
  • Finding methods to connect businesses with service providers
  • Enhance artisan businesses in Wyoming County

Community Projects in Wyoming County

Mountain Heart Community Services, Inc.
Mountain Heart Community Services, Inc. is a private, non-profit, Community Action Agency incorporated in 1965 in accordance with the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. The organizational vision or mission of Mountain Heart Community Services, Inc. is to reduce the incidence of and lessen the impact of poverty among West Virginia residents. Some programs on site include: Head Start, WV Birth to Three's, Housing/Construction, and many more.

Head Start is a National Program started by the U.S. Government in 1965. The purpose of Head Start is to give preschool children and their families access to services offering education and care. Head Start in Wyoming County helps prepare children for school and life by providing experiences that help them grow emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

There are many local, state and national resources available that promote the advocacy of children with possible developmental delays and the opportunities/services, and rights available to them and their families. It is WV Birth to Three's goal to provide parents and professionals with resources that can assist them in providing outstanding care for their children with development delays.

One of the goals of Mountain Heart Community Services, is to provide low to moderate income families of Wyoming County and surrounding areas with safe, descent, and affordable housing.

House of Wonder
Integrated Resources, Inc., is a private, non-profit corporation that is chartered by the State of West Virginia. This corporation operates a temporary employment agency providing employment to more than 190 people throughout 14 counties in West Virginia. In addition to providing jobs, Integrated Resources, Inc., provides services to people with disabilities. Operating the House of Wonder helps disabled workers acquire new skills to become job-ready.

The House of Wonder, formerly referred to as a "sheltered workshop", employs people with various disabilities in a sheltered employment environment. The House of Wonder is a fully-functioning workshop teaching hands-on woodworking skills as well as workplace behavior and ethics.

"Buy Local" Campaign
WCPC formed the Business Retention, Expansion and Development Committee (BRE&D) to work on improving business volume in the county. They encouraged citizens to "buy local", developed a website listing local businesses. The online directory provides access to local business and other resources. To learn more about the BRE&D program and how to participate contact Josh Fangmeier at 304-294-6226.

Online real estate listings
BRE&D included online listings featuring available properties in Wyoming County in the new website described above. This is an effort to duplicate the listing developed on the City of Mullens website. The BRE&D website and its property listing is still in development, but is anticipated to launch in Spring 2009.

The property listings will include residential and commercial properties for sale or rent in Wyoming County. Although there are only a few listings at this time, we are partnering with local real estate agents to include the properties they represent as well. Those interested in having a local property listed may inquire by email

Wyoming County Real Estate