The Appalachian region is one that has been plagued economically for many years. Its historical reliance on coal, welfare problems, lack of both social and economic capital, opioid addiction, educational levels and unemployment are among the many problems that contribute to the region’s complex economic issues. The Central Region of Appalachia is the most economically disadvantaged, and this paper will examine three different paths to recovery for the region. Looking at Appalachia as part of the world economy will also be a key part, as well as looking at other countries and their strategies for economic development.

The three potential paths for improvement are: increased involvement in the tech sector by improving education and encouraging younger people to pursue a career in a technology related field, offering microfinance loans to encourage local people to start businesses with hobbies/skills that they already have or are willing to learn, and taking advantage of the legalization of marijuana to remedy the opioid epidemic and create jobs throughout the region. How these three areas also are used internationally will be examined. These are three areas that would not be very difficult to implement, and should be explored to help get the region on the path to economic recovery.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-11-2017


John A. Wade

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Government and Economics

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Computer Science and Information Technology

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Computer Science