The public is invited to contact CAEZ, or drop by and talk, about any of its projects or services, community or personal needs, or business opportunities from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays.

Check the CAEZ Calendar for community events, meetings and notices.  To post calendar listings contact Michelle Bodkins.

Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ)
Valley Fork Business and Education Center
4208 Wall Back Road
P. O. Box 176
Clay WV 25043
Phone (304) 410-5070 – Fax (304) 587-2027

CAEZ does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, sex or national origin.

[one_half last=”no”][person name=”Connie Lupardus” picture=”” pic_link=”” title=”Executive Director of CAEZ ” email=”mailto://” facebook=”” twitter=”” linkedin=”” dribbble=”” linktarget=”_self”]Connie M. Lupardus has worked with CAEZ since 2003, and has served as Executive Director since 2006. She worked with Kanawha County Schools at the Garnet Career Center as a Job Placement Coordinator, Student Mentor, and Instructor of Medical Terminology and Medical Information Systems. Her early career was in nursing.Ms. Lupardus has completed numerous economic development training and certification programs to enhance her ability to serve the CAEZ communities. Certifications from Neighbor Works include:

  • Foreclosure Intervention & Default Counseling
  • Home Ownership Counseling
  • Property Assessment, Acquisition and Financing
  • Pre-Purchase Homeownership Education

Graduating from Charleston High School, Ms. Lupardus continued her education with degrees from Gaston College, Charleston Business School, Ohio Business School, Roane Jackson Technical Center, Basic Economic and Community Development University of Kentucky, and attended Economic and Community Development Institute at WVU and International Economic Development Council, University of Oklahoma.Ms. Lupardus enjoys canoeing, mountain biking, hiking and trail riding. She also enjoys camping and spending time with her grandchildren. She has a son and two daughters.[/person][/one_half]

[one_half last=”yes”][person name=”MICHELLE LEA BODKINS ” picture=”” pic_link=”” title=”Office Manager of CAEZ ” email=”mailto://” facebook=”” twitter=”” linkedin=”” dribbble=”” linktarget=”_self”]Michelle Bodkins has worked as CAEZ’s Office Manager since June 2000. She is a Notary Public and holds many certifications from NeighborWorks America including:

  • Pre-Purchase Homeownership Education
  • Certified Counselor in Homebuyers Education
  • Certified Counselor in Foreclosure Intervention
  • Loss Mitigation – Post-Purchase Homeownership Education

Mrs. Bodkins has attended and completed trainings offered by West Virginia Housing Development Fund including:

  • Financial Fitness: Teaching Financial Management Skills
  • Data Management and Tracking with CounselorMax
  • Single Family Development for CHDO’s
  • Fitting the Pieces Together
  • Building HOME: A program primer
  • Rental Housing Underwriting and Finance Workshop

A graduate of Clay County High School, Mrs. Bodkins is working to attain an Associate’s Degree in Community Behavioral Health Technology from West Virginia State College. She was honored on the Dean’s List in July 2002.Mrs. Bodkins resides in Lizemores with her husband Jason Bodkins and son, Travis Allen Morris.[/person][/one_half]

[one_half last=”no”][person name=”Patrick Black” picture=”” pic_link=”” title=”Representative of Region 4 Mid Ohio Valley Workforce WV” email=”mailto://” facebook=”” twitter=”” linkedin=”” dribbble=”” linktarget=”_self”]304-587-2686 … cell: 304-546-9090

Pat Black operates a Workforce WV office located inside the CAEZ building. Call for hours and services.

Mr. Black is a graduate of Clay County High School. He attended Marshall University where he completed a four year Regents Degree.”I began my work career in mental health as a Direct Care Provider for the mentally and physically handicapped while attending Marshall University. I was able to move through several positions as Operations Coordinator, Home Manager and Case Manager up to and including Director for a local nonprofit agency. Most recently I have moved into this position with Workforce WV as a Youth Case Manager in Clay and Roane counties.”

Mr. Black holds certifications including:

  • National Certified Workforce Professional 1
  • National Certified Workforce Professional 2
  • Certified Mentor for Mountaineer Challenge Academy


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