Appalachia is at an economic crossroads. Coal mining is decreasing as our country increasingly relies on natural gas and other alternative forms of energy. Because of these changes, the Appalachian region has lost thousands of its most high-‐paying jobs, causing other sectors to suffer—and although these industries are well known for their "boom-bust" cycles, the future of another "boom" for Central Appalachian coal is unlikely. With this economic reality in mind, everyday conversations include the region's future. What kind of economy can be made in Appalachia? What type of future do residents want? How should local governments deal with the lack of appropriate infrastructure and educational institutions given the economic challenges already facing the region? Leadership is essential when considering these questions.