Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

Economic Development

America’s economic future increasingly will depend upon its ability to remain the world leader in bringing new technologies to the marketplace. Our region’s prospects will depend upon our ability to compete in an economy based on innovation.

Economic Development. Innovation will be the cornerstone of the future success of the economy in West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Foundation supports economic development activities based upon the region’s strengths in research, technology, and advanced manufacturing.

The Foundation’s agenda seeks to promote regional planning and cooperation, recognizing that with respect to any endeavor, “region” should mean whatever area is most appropriate to optimize the available opportunity, without reference to historic, geographic, or political boundaries. The expected outcomes of the Foundation’s Economic Development grants are the creation and growth of innovative, wealth-producing businesses and high-quality jobs.

In addition, many of the communities in the region served by the Foundation are rural, and enjoy abundant natural assets that provide economic opportunities that complement centers of technology-based growth. The Foundation supports efforts to advance agriculture, outdoor recreation, artisanship, and cultural tourism. Specific areas of Foundation interest include:

  • Promotion of entrepreneurship.
  • Projects that promote technology-based economic development.
  • Programs to promote the growth and accessibility of new capital for businesses in distressed communities and areas of high unemployment.