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ARC Project Guidelines


Introduction

On November 22, 2010, the Appalachian Regional Commission approved Moving Appalachia Forward: Appalachian Regional Commission Strategic Plan 2011–2016. Following adoption of the Plan, a revision of the ARC governing Code was undertaken to develop programs and policies to carry out the goals and objectives set forth in the Plan. Pursuant to Section 6.6 of the Code, the following project guidelines are established. The guidelines set forth the criteria for approval of ARC projects reflecting the requirements of the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 (ARDA), as amended, the ARC Code, and the provisions of the ARC Strategic Plan.

In accordance with Section 6.6 of the ARC Code, the Commission may, from time to time, approve additional Policy Statements concerning the implementation of Commission Area Development Programs. These Policy Statements will be included as appendices to these guidelines.

Appalachian Regional Development Act
The statutory criteria for approval of ARC projects are found mainly in Sections 223, 224, 225, and 303 of the ARDA (40 U.S.C. 14322, 14523, 14524 and 14525). Primarily, ARC approval requires a determination by the Commission that the project will contribute to the development of the Appalachian Region (Section 223). The pertinent provisions of these sections may be summarized as follows:

  • In approving a particular project, the Commission must also consider whether the project will improve, on a continuing rather than a temporary basis, the opportunities for employment, the average level of income, or the economic and social development of the area served by the project (Section 224).
  • The Commission must also consider the importance of the project or class of project in relation to other projects or classes of projects which may be in competition for the same funds (Section 224).
  • For each project, the Commission must consider the relative financial resources available to the applicant (i.e. its "ability-to-pay") (Section 224) and determine that there is adequate assurance that the project will be properly administered, operated, and maintained (Section 303).
  • To receive ARC approval, a project must implement the Development Plan of the Appalachian State in which it is located and it must have been identified by the state in its annual Strategy Statement (Sections 225 and 303).
  • Applications for ARC assistance are made through the state member of the Commission representing the applicant and are submitted to the ARC Federal Co-Chairman for approval. Approval requires a certification by the state member and a determination by the Federal Co-Chairman that the project meets the requirements for assistance (Section 303).
  • ARC grants that are administered for the Commission by a basic federal agency must also meet the applicable requirements of that agency (Sections 214 and 223).

ARC Code: General Project Approval Criterion
The strategic planning process undertaken by the Commission generated four goals that define social and economic conditions that must be created to realize ARC's vision. These goals now guide the Commission strategies and program investments. The ARC strategic goals are:

Goal 1—Job Growth: Increase job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation..

Goal 2—People: Strengthen the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy.

Goal 3—Infrastructure: Develop and improve Appalachia's infrastructure to make the Region economically competitive.

Goal 4—Highways: Build the Appalachian Development Highway System to reduce Appalachia's isolation.

The ARC Code provides a single general project approval criterion to reflect the importance of its strategic goals. That criterion is found in Section 7.3 of the Code, which requires that each project for which ARC approval is requested be supported by a demonstration that it will contribute to the achievement of one or more of the Commission's strategic goals. (A limited exception to this criterion is recognized for individual projects that take advantage of special development opportunities or respond to emergency economic distress.)

Section 1—Objectives

The demonstration required by Section 7.3 of the Code may be accomplished most effectively by explaining how the proposed project moves the region closer to one or more of the objectives specifically identified for each goal area in the ARC Strategic Plan or additional objectives identified by a state in its Commission-approved Plan or Annual Strategy Statement. The Commission's objectives for each goal area are set out below.

Goal 1—Job Growth–Objectives

  1. Develop leaders and strengthen community capacity.
  2. Diversify the economic base.
  3. Enhance entrepreneurial activity in the Region.
  4. Develop and market strategic assets for local economies.
  5. Increase the domestic and global competitiveness of the existing economic base.
  6. Foster the development and use of innovative technologies.
  7. Capitalize on the economic potential of the Appalachian Development Highway System.
  8. Encourage sustainable economic use of natural resources.
  9. Encourage investments in energy projects that create jobs.

Goal 2—People–Objectives

  1. Develop leaders and strengthen community capacity.
  2. Enhance workforce skills through training and education.
  3. Increase access to quality child care and early childhood education.
  4. Increase educational attainment and achievement.
  5. Expand community-based wellness and disease-prevention efforts.
  6. Increase the availability of affordable, high-quality health care.

Goal 3—Infrastructure–Objectives

  1. Develop leaders and strengthen community capacity.
  2. Build and enhance basic infrastructure.
  3. Increase access to and use of telecommunications technology
  4. Preserve and enhance environmental assets.
  5. Promote the development of an Intermodal Transportation Network.

Goal 4—Highways–Objectives

  1. Develop leaders and strengthen community capacity.
  2. Promote the successful development of the ADHS.
  3. Improve planning to enhance multi-jurisdictional coordination and efficiency.
  4. Encourage intermodal coordination.
  5. Enhance the energy efficiency of the transportation system.
  6. Develop a transportation system that enhances and preserves the Regions environmental quality.

Section 2—Guiding Principles: Strategies

The development of regional and state strategies is guided by certain principles that should also be reflected in the development of particular projects implementing these strategies. These principles underlie ARC's four regional development roles as advocate, knowledge builder, investor and partner. The Commission's guiding principles are as follows:

  1. Promote homegrown solutions.
  2. Create sustainable economic development.
  3. Address persistent economic distress.
  4. Serve as a catalyst for change.
  5. Seed innovation.
  6. Stimulate investments by federal, state, and local agencies; philanthropies; and the private sector.
  7. Support inclusive local decision making.
  8. Act as a clearinghouse for ideas and expertise.
  9. Capitalize on existing assets.
  10. Encourage lifelong learning.
  11. Seek regional solutions.
  12. Strengthen global competitiveness.

The Commission described a number of regional strategies to accomplish the Strategic Plan's objectives. In addition, each state will annually prepare its own Strategy Statement, which may make use of some or all of the regional strategies or identify additional strategies tailored to the unique conditions of such state. The State Strategy Statements are subject to annual Commission approval.

Projects of a type described among the regional and state strategies are generally understood to be designed to contribute to the achievement of a Commission goal.

The Regional Strategies for each goal area are identified below.

Goal 1—Jobs–Strategies

Strategic Objective 1.1: Develop Leaders and Strengthen Community Capacity

  • Support the development of broad-based leadership structures and transformative institutions for change, such as community-development foundations and community-development financial institutions.
  • Build the capacity to collaborate among government, business, and nonprofit and philanthropic sectors by improving skills in consensus building, communication, networking, knowledge and understanding of economic and social trends, and other elements of civic capacity.
  • Support strategic planning initiatives for local and regional organizations to capitalize on economic development opportunities.
  • Encourage partnerships and promote regional efforts in economic development.
  • Provide training and consultation services to local governments and nonprofit organizations engaged in economic development.

Strategic Objective 1.2: Diversify the Economic Base

  • Encourage the establishment and development of workforce training programs, entrepreneurial support, and export activities, and the promotion of technological advances and technology-related businesses and services.
  • Expand efforts to modernize and strengthen existing businesses.
  • Develop new businesses that can expand the economic foundation of the Region.
  • Raise awareness about economic development tools communities can use to strengthen and diversify their economic base.

Strategic Objective 1.3: Enhance Entrepreneurial Activity in the Region

  • Improve access to investment capital and credit for local businesses through resources such as venture capital funds, subordinated debt funds, and micro-credit lending programs.
  • Educate current and future entrepreneurs through training programs in middle schools, high schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities.
  • Nurture local businesses by creating technical assistance networks through business incubators, business associations, and private-sector resources.

Strategic Objective 1.4: Develop and Market Strategic Assets for Local Economies

  • Identify local and regional assets for development.
  • Create strategies that help existing and new local businesses capitalize on indigenous assets.
  • Support efforts to maximize the economic benefits of Appalachian cultural and heritage tourism and crafts industries.

Strategic Objective 1.5: Increase the Domestic and Global Competitiveness of the Existing Economic Base

  • Support research on global and domestic market opportunities.
  • Support technical assistance and ongoing business consultation to help medium and small businesses connect to national and international markets.
  • Support foreign direct investment in Appalachia.

Strategic Objective 1.6: Foster the Development and Use of Innovative Technologies

  • Assist in the creation of telecommunications and computing enterprises.
  • Provide assistance for expanding existing high-technology operations in the Region.
  • Promote partnerships with, and leverage research opportunities generated by, government-sponsored and private-sector research labs.
  • Expand and create technology research initiatives in the Regions colleges and universities.
  • Increase support for public-sector science and technology programs.
  • Support the commercialization of new technologies developed by federal labs, universities, and other sources.

Strategic Objective 1.7: Capitalize on the Economic Potential of the ADHS

  • Support local and regional economic and community-development initiatives that effectively use completed sections of the ADHS.
  • Encourage strategic planning to help direct and select appropriate development along future segments of the system.
  • Promote cooperative projects and programs between economic development officials and highway officials.

Strategic Objective 1.8: Encourage Sustainable Economic Use of Natural Resources

  • Support economically sustainable uses for Appalachias natural and environmental assets, including its forests and wood products, water features and watersheds, agricultural resources and local food systems, and scenic viewsheds.
  • Promote activities and initiatives that effectively use walking, cycling, and other outdoor recreation trails for local economic benefit.
  • Encourage research on natural resources that can make a vital contribution to sustainable economic growth in the Appalachian Region.

Strategic Objective 1.9: Encourage Investments in Energy Projects that Create Jobs

  • Promote energy efficiency in Appalachia to enhance the Regions economic competitiveness.
  • Increase the use of renewable energy resources in Appalachia, including wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass, to produce alternative transportation fuels, electricity, and heat.
  • Support the development of conventional energy resources in Appalachia, especially advanced clean coal, to produce alternative transportation fuels, electricity, and heat.

Goal 2—People–Strategies

Strategic Objective 2.1: Develop Leaders and Strengthen Community Capacity

  • Establish and maintain collaborative relationships between training institutions and businesses to improve workforce readiness.
  • Strengthen school-based civic education through service learning and youth community-development efforts.
  • Support greater involvement of young people in community activities such as tutoring, peer mediation, and serving on advisory boards.
  • Promote community-based dialogue and management of critical local health issues.
  • Encourage broad-based, diverse participation in leadership and community capacity building.

Strategic Objective 2.2: Enhance Workforce Skills through Training and Education

  • Support the expansion and modernization of workforce training and education programs in strategic industry sectors.
  • Encourage workforce development that supports green jobs in the fields of energy efficiency and conservation, environmental remediation, and alternative energy development.
  • Partner with community colleges, technical schools, and universities to support strategic workforce development initiatives.

Strategic Objective 2.3: Increase Access to Quality Child Care and Early Childhood Education

  • Support local and regional efforts to increase access to early childhood education programs.
  • Promote efforts that increase access to quality child care to support workforce recruitment and retention.

Strategic Objective 2.4: Increase Educational Attainment and Achievement

  • Support local and regional efforts to better prepare students, out-of-school youths, and adults for post-secondary-level training.
  • Maintain support for and seek expansion of the Appalachian Higher Education Network and other partnerships that increase college-going and college-completion rates.
  • Support dropout prevention programs.
Strategic Objective 2.5: Expand Community-Based Wellness and Disease-Prevention Efforts
  • Use best practices in public health to develop targeted approaches to wellness and disease prevention.
  • Support partnerships that educate children and families about basic health risks and encourage lifelong healthy behaviors.
  • Enhance community efforts to improve health-delivery services, especially in communities facing high rates of chronic disease.

Strategic Objective 2.6: Increase the Availability of Affordable, High-Quality Health Care

  • Expand the Region's supply of quality health-care professionals by attracting new practitioners and offering training and education for members of the health-care workforce.
  • Improve facilities and infrastructure to support the provision of high-quality clinical care in underserved areas.
  • Use technology to reduce the high cost of health-care services.
  • Offer short-term support for sustainable clinical services among underserved populations, especially those in Health Professional Shortage Areas.
  • Improve access to health care for underserved populations.

Goal 3—Infrastucture–Strategies

Strategic Objective 3.1: Develop Leaders and Strengthen Community Capacity

  • Build the organizational capacity required to meet increasing demands related to technology, environmental standards, and changing revenue sources.
  • Provide training, consultation, and financial support for local leaders and organizations to build their capacity to address infrastructure challenges.
  • Support partnerships and regional efforts among local and state governments, nonprofit agencies, and citizens engaged in infrastructure development.
  • Encourage water and sewer infrastructure development through self-help projects that use the skills and commitment of local communities.
  • Support strategic planning initiatives for local organizations and agencies to capitalize on economic development opportunities created by the Appalachian Development Highway System.

Strategic Objective 3.2: Build and Enhance Basic Infrastructure

  • Make strategic investments that leverage federal, state, private, and local capital for the construction or improvement of basic public infrastructure that supports economic development or addresses a public health concern.
  • Encourage planning, design, coordination, and construction practices that improve the energy efficiency of infrastructure investments.
  • Support continued efforts to maintain and expand the Regions stock of safe, affordable housing.

Strategic Objective 3.3: Increase Access to and Use of Telecommunications Technology

  • Make strategic investments in high-speed telecommunications infrastructure to increase local and regional connectivity and affordability.
  • Encourage the use of telecommunications applications in education, health care, business, and government initiatives.
  • Provide assistance for telecommunications development that coincides with other public infrastructure development.

Strategic Objective 3.4: Preserve and Enhance Environmental Assets

  • Raise awareness of and leverage support for the reclamation and redevelopment of brownfields and mine-impacted communities.
  • Encourage eco-industrial development that can responsibly take advantage of the Regions natural-resource assets.
  • Support regional planning and economic development that promote good stewardship of the Regions natural resources.
  • Promote efforts to protect and enhance the quality of surface and ground water.

Strategic Objective 3.5: Promote the Development of an Intermodal Transportation Network

  • Encourage the planning and development of infrastructure that enhances economic development opportunities presented by intermodalism.
  • Construct access roads that link economic development opportunities to the Appalachian Development Highway System corridors and other transportation networks.

Goal 4—Highways–Strategies

Strategic Objective 4.1: Develop Leaders and Strengthen Community Capacity

  • Encourage local and multi-jurisdictional forums to strengthen communication, awareness, and mutual understanding in support of continued ADHS development.
  • Support collaboration and coordination between transportation and economic development interests to strengthen access to domestic and international markets and to maximize economic and employment benefits to the Region.

Strategic Objective 4.2: Promote the Successful Development of the ADHS

  • Work with federal and state departments of transportation to identify and overcome barriers to the development of ADHS sections in the location-study phase.
  • Assist federal and state departments of transportation in solving design problems and moving ADHS sections to the construction phase.
  • Promote a development approach for the ADHS that preserves the cultural and natural resources of the Region while enhancing economic opportunity.

Strategic Objective 4.3: Improve Planning to Enhance Multi-Jurisdictional Coordination and Efficiency

  • Promote improved coordination of technical information, funding disbursements, and construction scheduling to facilitate the construction of ADHS highway state-line crossings.
  • Support opportunities to expand public-private coordination to increase the availability of capital investments and improve the transportation capacity of the Region.

Strategic Objective 4.4: Encourage Intermodal Coordination

  • Develop the ADHS as the foundation for a coordinated and balanced intermodal transportation system that maximizes the Regions access to domestic and international markets.
  • Encourage the development of key regional transportation corridors (highway, rail, and waterway) that link intermodal inland ports with key coastal ports to strengthen domestic and global access and enhance the competitiveness of Appalachian businesses.

Strategic Objective 4.5: Enhance the Energy Efficiency of the Transportation System

  • Encourage planning, design, coordination, and construction practices that improve overall energy efficiency in the movement of Appalachian travelers and cargo.
  • Support the development and application of advanced transportation technologies that reduce energy consumption and help ensure the competitiveness of the Regions businesses.

Strategic Objective 4.6: Develop a Transportation System that Enhances and Preserves the Regions Environmental Quality

  • Encourage planning, coordination, and cooperation to achieve a reliable, safe, and cost-efficient transportation system that can both contribute to the Regions economic success and help protect its environmental quality.
  • Promote the use of technologies that reduce the environmental impact of moving Appalachias travelers and cargo.

Section 3—Matching

In general, the Commission expects a recipient of an ARC grant to contribute its own resources to a project to the extent it is able to do so and to seek additional non-ARC funding assistance in a diligent manner.

The Appalachian Regional Development Act imposes matching requirements on ARC grants as described below. In addition to these statutory match requirements, however, the individual Appalachian States set forth in their Annual Strategy Statements their own cost-sharing and matching requirements, which may be more restrictive than the statutory limits in a particular instance.

3.1 ARDA Matching Requirements–General

  1. Generally, ARC grants are limited to 50% of project costs.
  2. For projects in ARC-designated distressed counties, this limit can be raised to 80%.
  3. For projects in ARC-designated at-risk counties, this limit can be raised to 70%.
  4. For projects located in ARC-designated competitive counties (those that are approaching national economic norms), funding is usually limited to 30% of project costs.
  5. ARC funding is usually not available for projects located in ARC-designated attainment counties (those that have attained or exceeded national economic norms).

3.2 ARDA Requirements–Miscellaneous

  1. LDD administrative grants may be funded at 50%, wherever the LDD is physically located, except that a state may request that the ARC participation be raised to as much as 75% for an LDD that includes a distressed county or counties within its service area and 70% for an LDD that includes an at-risk county or counties within its service area.
  2. Funding for work on the Appalachian Development Highway System is allowed at 80%, wherever the project is located.
  3. Funding for an access road project is allowed at 80% in distressed, at-risk and transitional counties. Funding is limited to 30% in competitive counties and is prohibited in attainment counties.
  4. Similarly, loans from an ARC Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) are restricted by the limit applicable to the county in which the project for which the loan is requested is located. (This rule does not apply to loans made with ARC RLF funds approved prior to November 13, 1998. Loans using such funds are restricted in accordance with the terms of the grant agreements under which they were made available.)
  5. If otherwise eligible for funding, projects involving construction assistance for housing under Section 207 of the ARDA cannot exceed 10% of total project costs regardless of location.
  6. Health operations continuation projects under Section 202 of the ARDA are limited to 75% of project costs after the second year of operations, even in distressed counties.

3.3 ARDA–Waiver of Restrictions on Projects in Economically Strong Counties

The restrictions on projects in competitive and attainment counties may be waived by the Commission upon a showing of (1) the existence of a significant pocket of distress in the part of the county in which the project is carried out or (2) the existence of a significant potential benefit from the project in one or more areas of the region outside the designated economically strong county in which the project is carried out. Waiver requests are made by the State Alternate representing the potential grantee, and such requests must be approved by the Federal Co-Chairman and State Alternates.

3.4 Multi-County Projects

Special matching rules apply to projects that are carried out in more than one county.

  1. If there is a distressed county in a project:
    1. and at least half the counties are distressed, the project may be funded at up to 80% of project costs;
    2. and at least half the counties are in some combination of distressed and at-risk, ARC assistance can be the higher of 70% of project costs or the average percentage applicable to the various counties in the project; and
    3. but fewer than half the counties are distressed, ARC assistance can be the higher of 50% of project costs or the average percentage applicable to the various counties in the project.
  2. If there is no competitive county or attainment county in a project, and at least half the counties are at-risk, the project may be funded at up to 70% of project costs.
  3. All other projects shall be funded at the average percentage applicable to the various counties in the project; except that the portion of a project, which is attributable to an attainment county in a project not including a distressed county, shall be considered ineligible for ARC assistance and may not be considered for matching purposes.

3.5 Discretionary Grant Authority

A limited amount of discretionary authority is made available to the Commission under Section 302 of the ARDA. Annually, the Commission allocates this authority to the Co-Chairmen's Committee and among the Appalachian States. The authority can be used to raise the statutory limits on ARC funding in projects implementing special regional initiatives approved by the Commission. It can also be used, with the approval of the Co-Chairmen's Committee, in instances of emergency economic distress. The discretionary authority, however, cannot be used to eliminate the funding restrictions on projects in competitive and attainment counties.

Section 4—Miscellaneous Requirements

4.1 The ARC Code (Section 8-4) also specifically restricts the use of ARC funds for:

  1. any form of assistance to a relocating industry or business (Section 224(b) of ARDA);
  2. recruitment activities that place a state in competition with another state or states; and
  3. projects that promote unfair competition between businesses within the same immediate service area.

4.2 The Code (Section 8-1 b) allows an ARC grant involving significant construction to be directly administered by the Commission only if the project will be managed by a Federal or State entity experienced in the management of federally funded construction projects.

4.3 The same Code section also prohibits grants made directly to a for-profit entity.

4.4 Generally, assistance for an operations project is not available beyond three years after the effective date, except that a state may request additional funding for such a project pursuant to Section 303 of the ARDA.

4.5 Commission approval of a project for construction, renovation or equipment must take place prior to the letting of any contract. Except for a project under Section 201 of the ARDA or as otherwise prohibited by law, a State may waive this requirement at its option upon a finding that conditions warrant such action. A State that waives this requirement shall immediately notify ARC of such waiver.

4.6 At the request of a state, the Commission may revoke or revise its approval of any project pursuant to Section 303 of the ARDA (excluding projects under Section 201) if the work intended to be assisted is not under way within 18 months after the date of approval of such project.

Section 5—Project Applications

To assist the Commission with the project evaluations required by the ARDA and the Code, all applications for ARC assistance should provide the following information and explanations:

  1. Identification and description of grantee.
  2. Identification and description of the area to be served by the project.
  3. A brief statement of the objective of the project and an explanation of its relationship to one or more of the Commission's Strategic Goals.
  4. A description of the project rationale, including a description of the needs and specific problems to be addressed by the project and a demonstration of the need for ARC financial assistance, including reasonable assurances that the project makes use of all available federal and non-federal funds. An application for an ARC-assisted construction project should include a discussion of any efforts that may have been made to improve the energy efficiency of the project.
  5. A detailed description of the work to be undertaken with grant and matching funds with pertinent budget information. Matching funds should be identified by amount and source with evidence of assurance that such funds are available. The application shall also provide reasonable assurance that there is management capability to carry out the project effectively.
  6. A description of the output and outcome benefits to be derived from the project with particular emphasis on the extent to which the benefits to the area being served by the project will be realized on a continuing rather than a temporary basis. Benchmarks and performance measures shall be identified for each ARC-assisted project using the following definitions:
    1. Output measures are indicators that count the goods and services produced by an individual or agency.
    2. Efficiency measures are indicators that measure the unit cost associated with a given output.
    3. Outcome measures are indicators that measure the actual impact of public benefit of the actions of an individual or agency.

Section 6—Local Access Roads

6.1 Authority

ARDA. The construction of local access roads in the Appalachian Region is authorized under Section 201 of the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, as amended (ARDA). The ARDA authorizes the construction of up to 1,400 miles of local access roads that will serve recreational, residential, educational, commercial, or industrial sites, or facilitate a school consolidation program. ARDA Section 201 access road projects must be approved by the Commission, the State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. Projects are usually administered by the State Department of Transportation.

SAFETEA-LU. Funds authorized for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) program under Section 1101 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users may be used to construct Appalachian access roads (SAFETEA-LU, Public Law 109-59, Section 1116).

Section 214. A State may also use a portion of its ARC Area Development allocation to fund an access road project under Section 214 of the ARDA. Such a project must be authorized under another Federal grant program and will be administered by the basic Federal agency (HUD, EDA or Agriculture) having responsibility for such grant program. Project criteria and matching limits for ARC Section 214 projects are discussed in the ARC Project Guidelines.

6.2 Funding and Match.

The ARC Code allows Appalachian States to apply a portion of their ADHS funds to access road projects (Section 9.5.c). Annually, each State may use $500,000 plus an additional 5% of its ADHS funds for access road projects, provided the total amount does not exceed $1 million. Access road authority is not cumulative, but must be approved by ARC during the year of availability.

The maximum Federal participation in an Appalachian access road project is 80% in ARC Distressed and Transitional counties. Funding is limited to 30% of project costs in ARC Competitive counties and is prohibited in ARC Attainment counties.

6.3 Standards.

Section 201 of the ARDA requires Appalachian access road projects to be designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with the provisions of Title 23 of the U.S. Code. Section 109 of Title 23 allows road projects, such as access roads, that are not on the National Highway System, to be designed and constructed in accordance with State standards. ARC access roads are to be designed to accommodate the types and volumes of traffic that are anticipated for the 20-year period following construction.

6.4 Specific Project Criteria.

Section 9.6.b of the ARC Code provides criteria for specific types of ARC access roads:

Industrial, Commercial and Service Areas. Projects serving such areas must provide significant employment opportunities or otherwise meet the criteria set forth in an approved State Strategy Statement. A program for stimulating development in the area served by the project must be in existence, or specifically planned and funded. Such programs shall make provisions for necessary utilities, and shall be compatible with other development plans for the area.

Residential Developments. Projects may be approved to provide access to sites required to satisfy demonstrated needs for permanent housing.

Recreation Areas. Projects serving a recreational development must have a significant impact on the local economy. A program for stimulating development in the area served by the project must be in existence, or specifically planned and funded.

Educational Areas. Projects serving school consolidations or other educational activities shall be designed, wherever possible, to serve additional developmental objectives.

Timber Areas. Projects may be approved to facilitate the harvesting of timber lands which have significant commercial value. Priority shall be given to projects that complement other developmental activities serving the same areas.

6.5 Eligible Activities.

ARC local access road projects may provide funding for preliminary engineering, purchase of rights-of-way and construction. ARC funds are available for initial construction of local access roads but not for resurfacing, rehabilitation, upgrading or safety improvements on previously constructed ARC access roads. Eligibility of specific costs items are governed by the appropriate Federal-aid and State regulations for engineering, right-of-way and construction, including regulations pertaining to utility adjustments and accommodation.

6.6 Project Applications.

In addition to the information required by Section 5 of the ARC Project Guidelines, local access road project applications must include a certification by the State Department of Transportation that the project has been, or will be, included in the statewide transportation improvement program (STIP), that it meets state design criteria and that funds and obligation authority necessary for the project will be made available from the State's ADHS account for the project. The application should also include a description of the project including the roadway typical section(s), length to the nearest hundredth of a mile, pavement structure, and applicable design criteria, as well as a schedule for the completion of important project components.

Section 7—Regional Skills Partnerships

7.1 ARDA Authority

Section 205. Assistance to regional skills partnerships in the Appalachian Region in order to improve the job skills of Appalachian workers for a specified industry is authorized by Section 205 of the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, as amended (ARDA). Section 205 grants are made and administered directly by the Commission. Section 205 contains eligibility criteria for grantees and projects that are summarized in these guidelines.

Other Authorities for ARC Job-Training and Skills Development Projects. A State may also use a portion of its ARC Area Development allocation to fund job-training and skills development projects under Sections 214 and 302 of the ARDA.

A project under Section 214 must be authorized under another Federal grant program and will be administered by the basic Federal agency having responsibility for such grant program. The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, administered by the Department of Education, is mentioned specifically in Section 214, but other Federal grant programs for such assistance may also be available for ARC project funding. Project criteria and matching limits for ARC Section 214 projects are discussed elsewhere in these Guidelines.

Grants for such projects under Section 302 are made and administered directly by the Commission and are not subject to the eligibility restrictions of Section 205 grants.

7.2 Eligible Entities.

Section 205 funding is available only to a consortium established to serve one or more industries in a specified geographic area of the Region, which consists of representatives of businesses or a nonprofit organization that represents businesses, labor organizations, State and local governments, or educational institutions.

7.3 Eligible Activities.

In general, Section 205 funding is available for any project that is intended to improve the job skills of workers for a specified industry in a specified geographic area of Appalachia. The ARDA includes as eligible for funding under Section 205 the following types of projects; other types of projects, however, that meet the general eligibility criteria may also be considered for funding: (1) assessments of training and job skill needs for an industry; (2) development of curricula and training methods, including electronic learning or technology-based training; (3) identification of training providers and the development of partnerships between the industry and educational institutions, including community colleges; (4) development of apprenticeship programs; (5) development of training programs for workers, including dislocated workers; and (6) development of training plans for businesses.

7.4 Restriction on Administrative Costs.

A grantee consortium under a Section 205 grant may not use more than 10% of the grant funds to pay the administrative costs associated with its project. Administrative costs, however, may be used to supply the grantee's cost share obligations for its grant.

7.5 Project Applications.

In addition to the information required by Section 5 of the ARC Project Guidelines, regional skills partnership project applications must include a description of the consortium that is applying for the grant indicating the geographic area and the industry or industries it serves along with a listing of its members and their business or organizational affiliations. The project application must also indicate the specific industry for which it is designed to improve workers skills. Evaluation measures keyed to jobs created or preserved by the project must be included.

ARC Project Guidelines Contents