Building off of its largest POWER Initiative investment in 2021, ARC is funding an additional 21 projects to spur economic opportunities in coal-impacted communities.
YOUNGSTOWN, OH, March 17, 2022 — Today the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded nearly $21 million for 21 projects impacting 211 counties through its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, which targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries. ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin made the award announcement at a roundtable event in Youngstown, Ohio to discuss strategies and new opportunities to enhance industry growth in coal-impacted communities.
“We are so excited to award this new round of funding for Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The partnerships forged through POWER projects help transform economies across county and state lines to help build a more resilient, thriving Appalachia. When the Appalachian region’s coal-impacted communities succeed, the rest of our country is made stronger.”
With today’s awards, ARC has invested more than $316.6 million in 393 projects across 358 coal-impacted Appalachian counties since POWER’s establishment in 2015. Together, ARC’s investments are projected to have helped create or retain more than 36,600 jobs and prepare nearly 14,300 workers and students for new employment opportunities in entrepreneurship, broadband development, tourism, and other emerging industry sectors.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo attended the Youngstown Roundtable as part of her tour of the region focused on Economic Development Administration (EDA) efforts in support of local strategies to diversify and grow the regional economy.
“The Economic Development Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission enjoy a strong and vital partnership, and I am proud of the work that we do together to help create economic opportunity and jobs in the 13-state Appalachian region,” Castillo said. “We congratulate the new ARC POWER grantees, many who are either prior or current EDA grantees, and pledge to continue to work together and collaborate widely with all regional stakeholders to assist plans to diversify and grow Appalachia’s economy.”
The 21 new projects announced today will support entrepreneurship, workforce development, infrastructure, tourism, and healthcare projects to create jobs, expand job and skills training, and attract new private investment in Appalachian communities affected by the downturn of the coal industry.
“With this new round of investment through ARC’s POWER grants, coal-impacted communities will gain opportunities that help bring 21st century jobs to the region,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland. “We are excited to see these projects succeed in helping create a stronger economic future for Appalachia.”
ARC Seeking Proposals for Additional POWER Projects
ARC is also still accepting applications in response to its POWER 2022 Request for Proposals. Letters of Intent (LOI) for implementation grants up to $1.5 million and planning grants up to $50,000 under POWER are due April 4, 2022. The deadline for final applications is April 29, 2022. Award announcements are anticipated to be made in the fall of 2022. Additional information regarding the application process is available at www.arc.gov/power-how-to-apply/.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to watch recordings from ARC’s virtual pre-application workshop earlier this month, during which ARC staff provided an overview of key points in the new RFP and the characteristics of a successful application and answered questions during an interactive Q&A session. View the workshop sessions here.
About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 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.