ARC Issues Request for Proposals for Appalachian Community Capacity-Building Pilot Program

Program will help Local Development Districts and local elected officials consider ways to strategically use American Rescue Plan Act funding to bolster long-term economic health of Appalachian communities.  

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 9, 2021—The Appalachian Regional Commission invites proposals from qualified organizations to design and execute a program titled “Community Capacity-Building Pilot” to help Local Development Districts (LDDs) and local elected officials strategically deploy American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Local Fiscal Recovery dollars for their respective communities. The program aims to position Appalachian communities for long-term success in managing projects that meet the greatest needs and enhance economic growth.  

“American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding presents a rare opportunity to spark transformative economic change in our Appalachian communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Local governments and local development districts in Appalachia are in need of tangible best practices and guidance regarding the most effective ways to deploy ARPA funding. We at ARC are perfectly positioned to support forums that cultivate networking and inform key stakeholders about how ARPA funding can be leveraged to not only aid in recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, but also spark long-term economic transformation. This initiative is a critical step in ARC’s longer-term vision to build community capacity in the Region.” 

The “Community Capacity-Building Pilot” program will consist of three key components:  

1) creation and rollout of trainings designed for LDDs, local elected officials and their staff,  

2) identification and management of a bench of vendors that will provide technical assistance services to local governments seeking to strategically deploy ARPA funding,  

3) facilitation of ARPA best practice sharing among LDDs. 

“The American Rescue Plan Act is giving communities across Appalachia the chance to make once-in-a-lifetime investments and reignite their regional economies,” said Governor Northam. “This program is designed to give local officials the tools they need to deploy these funds efficiently and equitably, so that every part of the region emerges stronger from this pandemic.”

The awardee of this contract will oversee organizing and executing the overall program, including managing all research, logistics, content development, training delivery, continued best practice documentation and facilitation and program evaluation. Training forums for LDDs, local elected officials and their staff are expected to launch in fall of 2021.  

Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. ET, August 27 and should be submitted as one PDF or Word document to    

About the Appalachian Regional Commission   
The Appalachian Regional Commission ( 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.   

About the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) 

ARPA, enacted March 2021, makes unprecedented funding available to combat the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The ARC research department’s preliminary analysis shows that of the Local Fiscal Recovery Fund county allocation, ($65.1B), Appalachian counties will receive approximately $5.3B. The guiding principles for ARPA funding are to 1) respond to the public health emergency presented by COVID-19 or its negative economic impacts 2) provide premium pay to essential workers, 3) serve as a stopgap for government shortfalls in revenue due to the pandemic, and 4) direct investments into water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.