MTM will offer multimedia production, web design, social media management, graphic design, photography, screen printing, crowdsourced funding, networking and IT services to businesses, entrepreneurs, and organizations in Appalachia and nationally. The company, structured as a worker-owned cooperative, aims to model democratic ownership and position itself within the growing wave of economic diversification happening across the region. MTM was incubated by Appalshop, the regional cultural institution which has been based in Whitesburg, KY since 1969.
New ways of doing business are emerging as communities confront a declining coal industry. Improvements to broadband infrastructure across Appalachia have begun to level the playing field, allowing increased access to global markets and opportunities for growth to a variety of regional businesses. MTM will contribute to that growth, simultaneously attracting outside investment and employing residents to offer a broad range of innovative, nationally competitive media and technology services.
“Mountain Tech Media is very excited to launch in eastern Kentucky,” says CEO & Co-founder Jeremy McQueen. “Businesses in the Appalachian region have a variety of marketing needs, and our team of professionals is ready to lend its expertise. We are proud to share our unique vision and skills in contributing to the growth of the region’s economy.”
“Creative businesses like MTM are driving Appalachia’s post-coal economic transition,” says economist Gladstone “Fluney” Hutchinson, of Lafayette College’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project (EEGLP) in Easton, PA. “Eastern Kentucky is demonstrating how artistic expression strengthens community development and how the assets of local culture can help grow economic sustainability.”
Over the past three years, EEGLP has partnered with Appalshop to create a long-term strategic investment plan for the region; Mountain Tech Media is a leading example of the type of innovative development that this collaboration is helping to cultivate. In addition, Hutchinson’s EEGLP and scholars with the higher education consortium Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life are collaborating with Appalshop to develop an arts-based and assets-based approach to community development that can be used by economically struggling communities across the country.
MTM will also be participating in the Appalachian Conference on Social Enterprise (ACOSE) on March 17-18 on the Marshall University campus in Huntington, WV. The first of its type in the region, this event will bring together Appalachian entrepreneurs and community leaders and highlight the power that local businesses have to contribute to community development throughout the region.