Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam Named 2016 Appalachian Regional Commission States’ Co-Chair
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 4, 2016—Today Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl announced that Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has been selected by his fellow Appalachian governors to serve as ARC’s states’ co-chair for 2016. As states’ co-chair, Haslam will work directly with ARC’s federal co-chair to continue the agency’s commitment to economic growth and development across the Appalachian Region.
“I am looking forward to working closely with Governor Haslam as we continue building a sustainable economic future for Appalachia,” said Gohl. “His leadership and experience in the Region will help Appalachia be the next great investment opportunity in America.“
“I appreciate this opportunity and look forward to working with my fellow governors to support economic growth throughout the Region,” said Haslam.
Haslam is ARC’s 63rd states’ co-chair and the sixth governor from Tennessee to hold the position. The last ARC states’ co-chair from Tennessee was former Governor Don Sundquist, who held the position in 2002. Haslam’s term as states’ co-chair is through the end of 2016. Gohl was appointed ARC federal co-chair by President Obama in 2010.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 Appalachian state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. Fifty-two counties in Tennessee, 15 of which are economically distressed, are included in the 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. Every year, ARC invests in hundreds of community-based projects contributing to the economic growth of the Region by training workers, creating jobs, and attracting additional investment capital. In fiscal year 2015, ARC approved more than $101 million in funding for 466 nonhighway projects in the Region. These investments will help create or retain more than 23,000 jobs, train more than 23,000 students and workers, attract an additional $204.9 million in other project funding, and leverage $765.8 million in private investments in Appalachia.