Appalachian Regional Commission Seeks Regional Leaders for Economic & Community Development Training Opportunities 

Public, Private, Nonprofit Leaders in Appalachia Encouraged to Apply.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2022 — Today, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) began accepting applications for the fourth class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a free leadership and economic development training opportunity for individuals currently living and/or working in one of ARC’s 13 Appalachian states. The Appalachian Leadership Institute is an all-inclusive, nine-month program focusing on skill-building, seminars, best practice reviews, mentoring, and networking to equip passionate Appalachian leaders with the skills, vision, and connections needed to help their communities thrive. 

The curriculum is anchored by six multi-day seminars across the Appalachian region focusing on each of ARC’s 2022-2026 strategic investment priorities, which aim to strengthen economic and community growth in Appalachia. The fourth class will run from October 2022 through July 2023 and prepare fellows to: 

  • Design effective economic development project proposals  
  • Integrate community assets into long-term economic development strategies  
  • Identify resources available to spark economic and community development  
  • Locate and access investment capital from a variety of public and private sources  
  • Prepare competitive applications for public grant opportunities  
  • Use expanded connections and leadership skills to create strong regional coalitions 

“The Appalachian Leadership Institute further equips our region’s leaders to make positive impacts in their communities, and I look forward to welcoming the next class of Leadership fellows into the ARC family,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “I encourage leaders from across our 13 Appalachian states to apply for the Appalachian Leadership Institute and to continue to brainstorm ways to work together, beyond county and state lines, to set big goals that will make our entire region stronger.” 

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is limited to 40 fellows annually, drawn from a variety of Appalachia’s public, private, and nonprofit industry sectors. Each class includes a diverse network of leaders to reflect the Appalachian region’s wide diversity of economic development challenges, opportunities, and strategies. Travel, in-person sessions, and other associated participation costs are covered by the Appalachian Regional Commission.  

“I can think of no better way to help develop the next generation of Appalachian leaders than through the innovative Appalachian Leadership Institute,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland. “With a comprehensive curriculum, each fellow will be given the unique opportunity to share their diverse perspective, and learn ways to help strengthen their communities and our regional collaboration.” 

Upon completion of the program, fellows are automatically part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network, a peer-to-peer working group of experts committed to helping foster collaborative solutions that will build a stronger future for Appalachia.  

Applications for the 2022-2023 class are open through June 1, 2022. To learn more about the program and apply, visit: To meet the 2021-2022 class of fellows and learn more about how they are working to transform their Appalachian communities, visit:

About the Appalachian Leadership Institute   
The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. The current class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute includes representatives from a variety of sectors and industries such as education, health care, economic development, public service, and other professions.  

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. Learn more at