Appalachian Regional Commission Invests in Obama Administration Economic Initiative in Coal-Impacted Communities

October 2015

Projects in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio Will Help Diversify Local Economies


SOMERSET, Kentucky, October 15, 2015—Today, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl announced ARC's first round of investments in the Obama administration's Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. POWER, which was announced at the end of March, is a coordinated effort among multiple federal agencies to develop integrated investments in communities and workers impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector. The ARC POWER awards announced today total $443,700 invested in six projects in four Appalachian states. They are part of a total federal POWER investment of more than $14.5 million made by ARC and three additional agencies: the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

"These federal investments will provide critical leverage for local leaders to make things happen in Appalachian communities," said Gohl. "Initiatives like these build the Region's entrepreneurial ecosystem and contribute to making Appalachia the next great investment opportunity in America."

Each of ARC's investments includes leveraged support from other federal agency partners. The ARC POWER grantees include:

Gohl announced the awards during ARC's 2015 annual conference, attended by more than 300 economic development professionals from across Appalachia. He was joined by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers, U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Economic Development Jay Williams, and U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Byron Zuidema.