A group of Mullens-area volunteers founded RAIL to respond to the disastrous floods that decimated Wyoming County in 2001. With the assistance of AmeriCorps members, volunteer groups, and support from the state, RAIL renovated the Mullens Grade School, which had been severely damaged by the flood. Local residents also helped with the cleanup and established a community center named the Mullens Opportunity Center (MOC).
Since then, RAIL has used the MOC as a testing ground for meaningful social entrepreneurship. RAIL staff were instrumental in forming the Upper Guyandotte Watershed Association, and local business people set up shop in many of the classrooms. As funding grew, RAIL added GED training, a computer lab, social service supports and youth employment programs. An AmeriCorps Farm to School program was added in 2015, which also led to the creation of community gardens and our first-ever farmer’s market. RAIL also manages the Wyoming County Diabetes Coalition.
RAIL employs individuals of all ages through Workforce West Virginia’s Empowered Employment program, Senior Community Service Employment Program, Equus, and AmeriCorps. RAIL has partnered closely with AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) and NCCC (National Civilian Conservation Corps). The MOC is also the main hub for colleges and universities, faith-based groups, and Wyoming County school programs.