Appalachian Regional Commission logo. Photos of Appalachian Mountains, students, and workers.
Appalachia Works: Expanding Opportunities for Our Region's Future. ARC Summit, September 12-14. Register Now at



In the Region This Week: August 16
In this issue: Newly released ARC county economic status analysis finds that 81 Appalachian counties will be considered economically distressed in FY 2019—a drop from 84 counties in FY 2018, and the lowest number of counties designated as such in the past decade. ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas visits Ohio to discuss issues around dental-care access, workforce development, and the petrochemical industry, and joins Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) to announce ARC investment in an advanced manufacturing resource center. Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.

FY 2019 ARC County Economic Status Designations Now Available
The Commission's annual county economic status analysis designates the 420 Appalachian counties as distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive, or attainment, based on their ranking in a composite index drawing on the most recent data on unemployment, poverty, and per capita income. A similar analysis is applied to areas at the census-tract level. Resources available include data, tables, and an interactive map feature.

ARC Seeks Candidates for Two Open Positions
ARC is currently recruiting candidates for two positions: a public outreach communications specialist to develop and disseminate content supporting ARC's mission and programs, build digital-based communities, and expand ARC's public outreach to a broad audience of stakeholders and partners; and an administration assistant to provide office and program support services. Complete position and application information is available on the ARC Job Opportunities page.

In the Region This Week: August 9
Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas joins Congressman Evan Jenkins to tour southern West Virginia to discuss economic diversity, opportunities and challenges; seven communities take part in the Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative's Advanced Implementation Workshop to foster economic growth and protect their natural ecosystems, landscapes and cultural heritage of "gateway" communities; the College of Maryland's automotive technology program adds diesel service training to widen the employment options of its graduates. Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.

ARC Seeks Proposals for Research Studies on Access and Traffic Safety in Appalachia
ARC is soliciting proposals for two new research studies: one that will analyze traffic safety in Appalachia to foster an improved understanding of traffic safety issues and outcomes in the Region compared with the rest of the nation; and one that will examine access in the Region as the first phase of a larger study on access, isolation, and mobility that aims to help align economic development priorities and transportation investments in Appalachia. Proposals are due August 31. See the requests for proposals

New Research and Website Highlight Health in Appalachia, Ten "Bright Spot" Counties Where Health is Better than Expected
Three new resources released by ARC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky offer a fresh approach to understanding health in Appalachia by focusing on community strengths and identifying local factors supporting a Culture of Health. These resources include case studies of ten "Bright Spot" counties, which have better-than-expected health outcomes; the performance-focused research methodology that helped identify these counties; and, a website that explores extensive county-level health data for the Appalachian Region.  Press release

Legislative Update: Senate, House Approve FY 2019 Appropriations Bills Containing ARC Funding
Both bills provide $155 million for ARC's nonhighway programs, including $50 million for the POWER Initiative to help Appalachian communities adversely impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector. Legislative update

New Data Visualization Tool Enables In-Depth, County-by-County Look at Impact of Opioid Epidemic in Appalachia
Developed by NORC at the University of Chicago and ARC, the Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool integrates overdose mortality rates for Appalachia's 420 counties with data on socioeconomic factors including unemployment, poverty, disability, and others.  Press release

ARC Releases FY 2017 State-by-State Investment Overview
The overview includes fact sheets detailing ARC's fiscal year 2017 economic development investments in each of the 13 Appalachian states, as well as a regional investment summary.  Press release

ARC Issues POWER Request for Proposals to Help Appalachia's Coal-Impacted Communities Diversify and Grow Local Economies
On February 1, ARC issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 2018 POWER Initiative funding to help coal-impacted communities in Appalachia diversify and strengthen their local economies. Priority areas for investment through the RFP include developing a competitive workforce, enhancing access to and use of broadband services, fostering entrepreneurial activities, and developing industry clusters. ARC is making up to $20 million available through the RFP.   Press release