Alabama Governor Bentley to Serve as 2012 ARC States' Co-Chair
MONTGOMERY, Alabama, January 1, 2012—Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has been selected to serve as 2012 states' co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) by the governors of the 13 states in the Appalachian Region.
"The Appalachian Regional Commission has the same goal that I do as governor: To expand employment opportunities and assist people to improve their lives," said Bentley. "The Commission has played an important role over the years in strengthening the economy of Alabama and the Region, and I look forward to building on that progress. I am grateful to the governors of the other 12 states for their support and confidence in naming me to this position."
As states' co-chair, Bentley will serve a one-year term and will work directly with ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl.
"I congratulate Governor Bentley on his selection by the Appalachian governors as the 2012 ARC states' co-chair," said Gohl, "and look forward to working with him to address the economic challenges confronting Appalachia. I welcome his commitment to the ARC partnership and working with him to strengthen Appalachia's economy."
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) coordinates the ARC program in Alabama. ADECA director Jim Byard Jr. will serve as Bentley's alternate to the Commission.
Thirty-seven counties are located within the Appalachian region of Alabama and are eligible to receive ARC funding for projects. In all Appalachian states, projects are initiated at the community level with assistance from local development districts. In Alabama, the state's regional planning commissions serve as the local development districts and recommend projects for ARC funding to the governor.
Bentley assumes states' co-chair duties on January 1.