Building Community Leaders and Capacity

The achievement of economic development goals in Appalachia is dependent upon local ability to prioritize challenges and implement impactful solutions. Many areas, especially those designated as rural and economically distressed, lack capacity at the individual, organization, or community level to effectively plan and implement strategies, capitalize on funding opportunities, and steer investments toward successful outcomes.

Through grants and Academies and Institutes, ARC investments support capacity building and planning efforts, provide technical assistance and training, and offer leadership development and educational programming that empower Appalachians – of all ages and backgrounds – to participate in the strengthening of their communities.

Investments in Action

Dare to Dream Competition

A key element of Lawrence Economic Development Corporation’s work includes educating youth entrepreneurs through an opportunity for high school teams to develop and pitch a viable business to potentially win thousands in startup funding.

Increasing Local Capacity to Plan and Partner

Community organizations and local development districts are foundational for local investment in Appalachia.

Many need additional support to ensure awareness of funding opportunities, develop projects, successfully access and administer funding, and collaborate with partners to maximize impact.

ARC investments boost strategic organizational planning capacity and provide technical assistance to bridge these gaps.

Investing in Cross-Sector Collaboration

Communities are generally composed of private and public entities that share a common goal of economic growth to improve life quality.

Many places in Appalachia, especially rural or economically distressed communities, struggle to develop networks that can establish and execute a shared vision.

ARC investments focus on providing technical assistance, research and data analysis, and planning guidance to help community actors come together and take steps toward prosperity.