Green Mining + Red House Consulting

Objective To predict the project’s next mine reclamation opportunity by modeling both existing sites and West Virginia at large.

About the Green Mining Project
Green Mining creates jobs and business opportunities for displaced Appalachian miners by reclaiming abandoned surface mine lands for lavender farming, and by providing those communities with the resources they need to learn, grow, work, and prosper.

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Regions Compared

Decota, WV

Hernshaw, WV

West Virginia

The Results

1. What industries do employees work for?

Decota has more than twice the people working in Agriculture and Mining. Also interesting, Hernshaw has a significant portion of workers employed in construction and retail, while Decota has almost none.

2. What occupations do workers perform?

Despite having more than twice the people working in Agriculture and Mining, Hernshaw has almost double the percentage of workers performing occupations related to Natural Resources, Construction, and Maintenance.

3. How much did people below the poverty level work last year?

No one under the poverty line in either location worked full-time year-round last year.

4. What is the age mix for this area?

Both locations seem to have a population age distribution that indicates there will be enough workers able to perform physically demanding work.

5. What kind of education do people have?

Decota has more college graduates than Hernshaw, but since The Lavender Project doesn’t necessarily require workers to have college degrees, it might be interesting to look at the levels of educational attainment below college level.

6. What is the unemployment rate?

Decota has almost double the unemployment rate than the rest of WV, while Hernshaw has a much lower unemployment rate. This shows a profound need for an initiative like The Lavender Project in Decota, and will serve as one of the key outcomes to reevaluate after implementation of the project.

7. How much are houses worth?

One of the goals for a successful impact is retained or improved land and home values. This data suggests that home values are typically low in both locations, but that the problem is even more severe in Decota.

8. How many housing units are vacant vs. occupied?

Hernshaw has a lower housing occupancy rate than the rest of West Virginia, which shows a need for the project in that area. However, Decota’s occupancy rate is higher than the state average. Again, this can be used an initial snapshot for comparison after the implementation of the project.

9. How has income changed over time?

Both sites have a much lower median income than the rest of the state, which indicates that both would be good candidates for the Lavender Project. However, as you can see, Hernshaw’s income figures are trending upwards while Decota’s are trending downwards.

10. How much do households earn in income and benefits?

Also possibly useful is income distribution. The income distribution in Decota is fairly similar to all of West Virginia, but Hernshaw’s distribution is slightly slanted towards the lower end.