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, Academies and Institutes, and READY Appalachia, 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.

READY Appalachia

Nonprofits, community foundations, local governments, and Local Development Districts are foundational for economic development in Appalachia.

READY Appalachia is ARC’s new community capacity-building initiative offering free training and flexible funding to these groups.

Participants in each READY Appalachia learning track access 10 weeks of cohort-based learning, skill development, and grant opportunities to increase their capacity to solve pressing issues and create positive economic change.

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.