MVA announces funds for community development

Mon Valley Alliance announced the introduction of four new community development funds aimed at supporting and starting new projects that strengthen the community and benefit the region.

According to a news release from MVA Chief Executive Officer Chris Whitlatch, when the organization was formed last year it made a priority to be more involved in the communities it serves and to support shorter term community projects that improve the quality of life for residents and attract new people to the region.

Whitlatch said the new funds can help achieve that goal.

“We know that we can accomplish more if we work together,” he said. “With these funds, anyone in the community from an individual to a business can be involved in the future development of the Mon Valley.”

The new funds are:

The Mon Valley Community Development Fund which will provide ongoing capital support for economic and community development projects that provide public amenities that improve the quality of life. Projects may include acquisition of buildings and land, site preparation or demolition, creation or improvement of public spaces, development projects and matching funds for federal, state or local grant programs. The fund will also facilitate regional level planning initiatives for the Mid Mon Valley.

Workforce Readiness Fund will provide funding support for workforce development projects that will prepare area residents for employment opportunities with existing businesses in the area as well as develop a labor force to attract new employers and industries to the area.

Entrepreneurship and Incubation Fund will provide capital through a revolving loan fund for entrepreneurs and startups in the Mon Valley as well as funding for infrastructure to attract startups to the area. Projects may include co-working or incubation spaces, cooperative formation, training, promotion or other activities.

Historical Preservation Fund will provide funding for historical preservation activities in the Mon Valley. Projects may include building or property acquisition, restoration or recovery, promotional materials or to provide matching funds for federal, state and local grant opportunities.

The funds have been set up under the Mon Valley Alliance Foundation, a registered 501 (c) (3) organization, enabling contributors to receive a full tax deduction for all contributions. Donations can be made online at or by check to Mon Valley Alliance Foundation, P.O Box 145, Charleroi, PA 15022. Mon Valley Alliance Foundation can also accept donations of property and buildings, providing a tax deduction for the donation.

MVA recently released a new website to provide additional resources for businesses and the community as well as to deliver the latest information on the organization and its projects. There is also a feedback feature for residents to submit their ideas for ways to improve the communities in which they live and the region as a whole.

“By joining together to support improvements to the region, we can accomplish more in a shorter period of time,” said Whitlatch. “The development funds are an excellent opportunity to be involved in the community today while leaving a legacy for tomorrow. It is my wish to have as many people point to a community improvement and say, ‘I made that possible.’”