Investments in Action

Every year, ARC investments support hundreds of economic development projects benefiting Appalachia’s 420 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.

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Philip Cooper: Inspiring Change

For Philip Cooper, INSPIRE Coordinator at Land of Sky Regional Development Council, helping his community recover from substance use disorder is not just a job – it’s a personal, lifelong commitment. Philip’s family has called Appalachia home for generations. Though the spirit of hard work and resilience was always in…


Erwin Utilities: Enhancing Broadband in Unicoi County

The town of Erwin, Tennessee is nestled in the mountains of Unicoi County (pictured above) and home to just over 6,000 residents. Though the area is abundant in undisturbed natural assets and access to major roadways, Unicoi is considered economically at-risk and has faced its fair share of challenges. After the coal-industry-related closure of a CSX rail yard in Erwin, around…


Great Smoky Mountains: Adventure Creates Opportunity in Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of two designations in Appalachia, was the country’s most-visited National Park in 2020. The Smokies’ 12.1 million visitors more than tripled the #2 most-visited destination, Yellowstone National Park. Though surrounding communities like Sevierville benefit greatly from this natural asset, one of the park’s three counties, Cocke, is still considered economically distressed. In fact, the county lacks recreational trails despite its proximity to…