WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Augusta Levy Learning Center has become synonymous in the Ohio Valley with the work it does for children with autism. 

However, there’s another initiative the center is part of that just got a boost of funding. 

Augusta Levy received a $50,000 investment from the Appalachian Regional Commission through its POWER (Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) initiative.

Grow Ohio Valley and Augusta Levy get massive grants from the ARC 

This money is going towards a statewide initiative to grow the field of applied behavior analysis. 

It started as the Mountaineer Autism Project Initiative. That board was made up of Augusta Levy Learning Center, the WVU Neurodevelopmental Center and Bright Futures in Hurricane, West Virginia.

The goal is to grow the field of applied behavioral analysis.

A lot of the time applied behavioral analysis is associated with autism, but we’re also trying to bring awareness to the field that we can also help in the area of the opioid epidemic. We can help with foster care systems, criminology. There’s a multitude of areas that we can help with. 

Angie Wood, Executive Director, Augusta Levy Learning Center

Currently, there are 88 behavior analysist in West Virginia.

Data collected through the initiative looks to see if they are staying and working in West Virginia and how many people need their services.

After they collect that data, it will be used to develop a strategic plan to bring these types of jobs to West Virginia.

This ties into the ARC’s goal of diversification and revitalizing the region’s coal-impacted communities.

Wood said this effort in West Virginia can also benefit surrounding states.

A part of ARC is the Appalachian Region and so we want to help in the other states. A lot of times people in Kentucky, down by Southern West Virginia and even in Ohio our neighbors need behavior analysts. There are three other clinics in our area that need behavior analysts.

Angie Wood, Executive Director, Augusta Levy Learning Center

She added that this will also help the Mountain State for years to come.

Augusta Levy Learning Center was not the only Ohio Valley organization to receive money from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

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