MACED provides opportunities and resources to help citizens build healthy, sustainable, equitable, democratic and prosperous communities in Kentucky and Central Appalachia.
In 1976, ten community development organizations in Central Appalachia created the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development as a provider of technical assistance to community-based groups in the region. Through the years MACED has worked with people and organizations to improve life in mountain communities, particularly for low-income people. MACED has always engaged in both community development and business development, working closely with local actors ranging from grassroots community organizations to bankers. MACED regularly collaborates at the state, regional and national levels with other organizations in the community development field.
MACED's Business Development Program finances projects which have the potential to provide jobs to low-income people but which private banks typically will not finance. Enterprises employ from two to 300 persons in industries ranging from concrete contracting to technically advanced tool and die manufacturing. MACED has lent and leveraged more than $24.7 million, creating more than 2,000 direct jobs.
MACED has demonstrated its ability to conceptualize, plan and carry out major, innovative projects over its 24-year history. Projects have ranged from research into coal companies' commitment to communities to issuing a $43 million mortgage revenue bond issue.
Since 1994, MACED has sharpened its focus on sustainable development. Through the Sustainable Communities Program and the Appalachian Resource & Design Center, MACED works with Appalachian communities to ensure that development is based on all three E's of sustainability: economy, ecology and equity. Sustainable development has become a unifying strategy for MACED's work.