ARC Awards Nearly $1.7 Million to Multi-state Economic Development Projects in Northern and Central Appalachia

Four new ARISE grants promote multi-state solutions to transit, tourism, downtown revitalization and local investment challenges in Appalachia.

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 29, 2024—Today, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded four new grants totaling nearly $1.7 million to boost transportation, downtown revitalization, tourism and local access to capital through its Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) funding opportunity, which drives large-scale economic transformation through multi-state collaboration:

  • A $293,551 ARISE grant to Carnegie Mellon University to analyze and address mobility and transportation challenges in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. With support from partners, the group will work to enhance regional transit by leveraging hybrid mobility services to reduce isolation and improve access to jobs, education and healthcare.
  • A $496,500 ARISE grant to Invest Appalachia, Inc. to collaborate with over a dozen regional partners to support 165 underserved counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia to implement downtown redevelopment plans over a five-year period. Plan elements include capital access products, technical assistance, a co-developer model and state-specific strategic plans.
  • A $387,500 ARISE grant to PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship to engage 30 communities across Pennsylvania and Ohio to understand the technology needs of the regional outdoor tourism economy. In collaboration with its partners, PA Wilds will lead planning efforts to develop a rural tourism mobile platform that will help communities attract visitors, support businesses, connect supply chains and share job opportunities.
  • A $500,000 ARISE grant to Steel Valley Authority to create the Appalachian Sustainable Finance Hub, a web-based portal that will align projects to a network of investors, pre-development funds and other capitalization opportunities. With support from its partners, Steel Valley Authority aims to match technical assistance for communities and businesses to develop clean economy projects in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

“These ARISE grantees are excellent examples of the ways Appalachians are collaborating across state borders to build a brighter future for our entire region,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The work they are doing will not only help grow a diverse Appalachian economy that includes new opportunities in tourism, transportation and business, but will also allow our residents to continue to prosper in the places they love.”

The projects are funded through ARISE, ARC’s initiative to drive large-scale, regional economic transformation through multi-state collaborative projects across Appalachia. Since August 2022, ARC has used funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to invest $50.3 million in multi-state projects that will strengthen Appalachian business and industry, as well as support the development of new economic opportunities across the region.

“Today’s announcement of new ARISE awards delivers on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and reaffirms the President’s commitment to help communities that have been left behind make a comeback,” said Lael Brainard, White House National Economic Advisor.

ARC is accepting ARISE concept papers on an ongoing basis. The next deadline for concept paper submissions is April 30, 2024.

Learn more about ARISE:

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development entity 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.