New Biz Launchpad



The Institute of the Rural Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (IREED) New Biz Launchpad supports Eastern’s culture of innovation and expand upon the capabilities and services.  In 2016, action steps were outlined in a Potomac Highlands Entrepreneurship Economic Feasibility Study funded by the Claude Benedum Foundation. The economic strategies and action steps outlined in the study included a focus on Agriculture, Arts and tourism, and manufacturing. Therefore cultivating IREED’s purpose to develop and sustain relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and provide a collective strategy for building institutional and community capital for economic and entrepreneurship development stated, Dr. Megan Webb, Eastern’s Dean of Advancement & Innovation.  The IREED New Biz Launchpad will house and provide services from the AIM Grant Coordinator, Potomac Highlands Creative Economy, and the Potomac Highlands Food Co-op as described below.

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AIM Grant Coordinator

The New Biz Launchpad will be home to the Apprenticeships In Motion (AIM) Grant Coordinator, Ms. Asala Willis,  assigned to the regional counties served by Eastern WV CTC.  The AIM Grant is a  (DOL-ETA) federally funded program awarded to the WV Community and Technical College System to scale apprenticeships throughout WV in Information Technology (IT) based occupations.

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The Apprenticeships Coordinator connects with regional business & industry partners, and working in collaboration with Eastern WV CTC, creates apprenticeship opportunities for students enrolled in Information Technology (IT) training and education programs. Following the state’s workforce initiative model, Learn & Earn, AIM supports companies with a 50-50 wage match to mentor and provide an on-the-job cooperative learning experience while students receive tuition assistance, valuable work experience and career advancing skills.  The Apprenticeship Coordinator also assists companies to secure customized technical instruction to increase the skills of incumbent workers to fill middle and high skilled jobs, creating a talent pipeline.

By leveraging federal dollars through the AIM Grant, the Apprenticeship Coordinator will help employers seeking a skilled IT workforce in Eastern WV through apprenticeship.  For more information, please contact Asala Willis ( Apprenticeship Coordinator-East or Nancy Ligus (, Director of Workforce & Economic Development for the WV Community & Technical College System.

Potomac Highlands Food Co-op

Virtual Agriculture Business Coach

Make an appointment to come visit us at the New Biz Launchpad located at 108 South Fork Road, Suite 201, Moorefield, WV by emailing Megan Webb at