Investments in Action

Every year, ARC investments support hundreds of economic development projects benefiting Appalachia’s 423 counties. Projects align with one of five goals outlined in our current Strategic Plan. The resulting investments ultimately help Appalachian communities address economic disparity and advance prosperity.

Explore stories from ARC projects and partners across the Appalachian Region.

States & Counties
See All
Topics
See All
Tennessee

Carter, Johnson,

A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition Inc.: Growing Achievable Pathways to Employment in Johnson County

Nestled in Northeast Tennessee, Johnson and Carter counties have strengths and challenges similar to many other Appalachian communities. Their location offers rich culture and easy access to outdoor adventures in “mountain and lake country.” However, the mountainous geography has also resulted in limited access to transportation, housing, and other critical…


Murray County, GA: A New Brand

The Murray County, GA team attended the 2017 Ringgold, GA Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative workshop as a disconnected group comprised of community members ranging from Arts Council’s President to a Water Commission’s General Manager. Representing a community with a growing downtown and arts scene, the dedicated volunteers applied in…


Montgomery-Smithers, WV: Gateways to Opportunity

Flanking the Kanawha River in Southern West Virginia, the two small towns of Montgomery and Smithers are working together to establish their status as a burgeoning gateway, surrounded by national and state parks, gorges and rivers, forests and trails. From the Hatfields and McCoys Trail, to the Mammoth Preserve, to…


Mount Hope, WV: Rising from the Ashes

A gateway to New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, Mount Hope, WV has been struggling to build tourism assets for decades in their post-extraction economy. However, a lack of knowledge, funding, and general capacity has led the region’s offerings to stagnate for some time. When a number of…


Alleghany Highlands, VA: Refreshing Artistic Partnerships

Composed of over 50% national forest property, the Alleghany Highlands region is a unique gateway with diverse outdoor recreation offerings throughout its various parks, such as Lake Moomaw and Douthat State Park. The region also has multiple thriving downtowns in Covington and Clifton Forge, each fostering a growing community…


Kane, PA: Becoming a Gateway Through Branding

The team from Kane, Pennsylvania, attended the 2019 Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative workshop in Bristol, Tennessee, with a specific goal in mind— to establish a town brand for their small community tucked away in the Pennsylvania Wilds. Fifteen miles from Allegheny State Park and Kinzua Bridge State Park,…


Mon Forest Towns Partnership: Teaming Up for Change

Scattered around the Monongahela National Forest, the communities comprising the Mon Forest Towns Partnership have been working to leverage this unique shared natural asset through regional thinking. When the Tucker County, West Virginia, team attended the 2018 AGCI workshop in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, this strategy wasn’t their initial aim.


Tracy City, Tennessee: A Dream Come True

In 2017, the team from Tracy City, Tennessee, attended the Ringgold, Georgia, workshop with a dream for their community: to build desperately-needed safe gathering places for citizens, especially families. The team represented a small, particularly disadvantaged town in an economically distressed county that generally lacked critical community assets, especially…


Princeton, WV: The Role of Arts in Gateway Communities

Tireless dedication and love for community have been the driving forces in the nearly two-decade revitalization happening in downtown Princeton, West Virginia. When Lori McKinney (workshop team lead and member of the Princeton Renaissance Project) arrived, Princeton’s downtown was almost empty, with 80% vacancy. Now, 19 years later, the…


Tennessee’s South Cumberland Tourism Partnership: A Regional Allegiance

Located between Nashville and Chattanooga and accessible from I-24, the South Cumberland area comprises six counties in Southern Tennessee. It is a gateway to the nearly 31,000-acre South Cumberland State Park, which features cliff faces, waterfalls, and twelve trailheads. Initially applying to the 2019 Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative workshop as…


Alabama’s Lookout Mountain Adventures: A Gateway to Southern Appalachia

Nested in the Northeast corner of Alabama, Lookout Mountain is a perfect example of a gateway asset, containing four parks with countless hiking and biking trails, cliff faces, and waterfalls. The twelve-person team from Cherokee, Alabama attended the 2016 Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative workshop in…


The Town of St. Paul: Preserving Nature and Culture

In the southwestern corner of Virginia, St. Paul, a former coal and railroad community, is shifting its economy toward outdoor recreation and tourism. A cornerstone of this effort is the Clinch River.   “The Clinch” is one of North America’s most biodiverse rivers, running past downtown and offering countless outdoor recreation…