Promoting entrepreneurship and ecological stewardship throughout SWVA

The University of Virginia's College at Wise acquired the 19,228-square-foot Oxbow Center in 2016. Soon after, the Oxbow underwent its first phase of renovations, which included the creation of a designated coworking space, privacy booths, offices, and conference rooms.

In April 2019, UVA Wise received a grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA), which was dedicated to the second phase of Oxbow renovation—the Clinch River Ecological Education Center (CREEC).

According to Shannon Blevins, Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives at UVA Wise, "The Oxbow Center is a unique asset for our economic development efforts. We want to bring two target areas together for economic diversification. We want to find synergy between the region's ecological assets as well as to pursue a technology industry cluster that falls within the VCEDA geography."

The Oxbow hopes to partner with people from various businesses, ventures, projects and trades to create a network of professional support and, in turn, promote economic development in the region.