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Generation West Virginia Partners with 18 Communities Statewide to Foster Digital Inclusion

Target communities are the counties of: Barbour; Boone; Braxton; Calhoun; Clay; Fayette; Gilmer; Lincoln; Logan; McDowell; Mingo; Nicholas; Roane; Summers; Webster; Wetzel; Wirt; Wyoming. These 18 counties were all classed as distressed counties by the Appalachian Regional Commission in 2023.

Generation West Virginia (GWV) is proud to announce its collaboration with Regional Optical Communications (ROC) and the West Virginia Office of Broadband to lead work in 18 counties to improve access to affordable internet through Connect Humanity’s Appalachia Digital Accelerator project. Through the collaboration, communities across the state will hold “Get Ready for Going Online” workshops, slated to run from March 19 to April 29, to tackle digital inclusion challenges within West Virginia. 

The counties where workshops will be held are Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Gilmer, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Roane, Summers, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, and Wyoming.

GWV integrates broadband work into its overarching mission to equip young West Virginians with key skills and career opportunities. While broadband infrastructure is being built in many areas throughout the state, many West Virginians still face significant barriers due to internet affordability, lack of access to devices, or the need for enhanced digital skills. The Digital Equity Plan created by the WV Office of Broadband has identified various obstacles for residents, with more than 20% of participants in listening sessions reporting that these barriers hindered their educational, remote work, and economic opportunities.

As a part of the Appalachia Digital Accelerator project, GWV and its partners will create 18 local digital equity connectivity plans that will inform future project development and prepare West Virginia communities for digital equity funding opportunities. These “Getting Ready for Going Online” workshops aim to bring together community members, stakeholders, and local organizations to begin these discussions.

“We are excited to partner with ROC and the State Office of Broadband to build off of the state Digital Equity Planning process and collaborate with communities to establish local, community-based goals and projects,” said Alex Weld, executive director at Generation West Virginia. “Ensuring everyone has equal access to digital resources empowers West Virginians and fosters a skilled and resilient workforce ready for success in the digital era.”

Through August 31, 2024, this project will support local partners in these communities to leverage existing planning work, identify strategies to fill the gaps, and secure the partnerships and funding necessary to meet their communities’ digital inclusion goals.

For a complete list of workshops, visit


About Generation West Virginia

Generation West Virginia equips young West Virginians with key skills and career opportunities, ensuring their ability to thrive in the Mountain State. By connecting young adults with resources, opportunities, and each other through their workforce development initiatives, GWV is committed to building a stronger, more prosperous West Virginia for generations to come. To learn more, visit