With today’s announcement, ARC has now invested $75.5 million specifically to diversify the economy in 236 coal-impacted counties across nine Appalachian states. Together these investments are projected to create or retain more than 6,800 jobs, benefit more than 23,000 students and workers, and leverage nearly $142 million into the Region’s economy.
“Each one of these investments is a catalyst for Appalachia’s economic future,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. “Together they are creating jobs, building economic momentum, and proving that Appalachia is America’s next great investment opportunity.”
Today’s awards were made through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, a congressionally funded multi-agency strategy bringing federal resources directly to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.
According to ARC research, Appalachia lost nearly 10,500 coal mining jobs in 2016, and a total of 33,500 coal mining jobs between 2011 and 2016. Since March 2016, when ARC first announced funding availability through the POWER Initiative, the Commission has received more than $280 million in funding requests for ideas to revitalize Appalachia’s economy. With funds made available to date, the Commission has been able to fund only one-quarter of these proposals.
About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission (www.arc.gov) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.