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$120 Million for Appalachian Regional Commission Included in FY 2017 Presidential Budget Request to Congress

February 2016

Support Will Continue Robust Investments in Appalachia


WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2016—Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl praised the inclusion of $120 million for ARC in the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Presidential Budget Request to Congress, released today. The budget request—the largest for the agency in more than three decades—includes $70 million for ARC's base area development activities, which support economic development efforts across Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. The budget request also includes an additional $50 million for the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, a multi-agency initiative targeting federal resources to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal-powered plant operations, and coal-related supply-chain industries that have occurred because of the changing economics in America’s energy production.

"One of the most important roles ARC can play is as an investment partner across the Region," said Gohl. "The president's budget request will give ARC the resources to help transform Appalachia's economy."

In the Appalachian Regional Commission’s five-year strategic plan for capitalizing on Appalachia’s opportunities, the Commission identified five strategic investment goals to benefit the Region:

  • Economic Opportunities: investing in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia’s economy.
  • Ready Workforce: increasing the education, knowledge, skills, and health of residents to work and succeed in Appalachia.
  • Critical Infrastructure: investing in critical infrastructure—especially broadband; transportation, including the Appalachian Development Highway System; and water/wastewater systems.
  • Natural and Cultural Assets: strengthening Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by leveraging the Region’s natural and cultural heritage assets.
  • Leadership and Community Capacity: building the capacity and skills of current and next-generation leaders and organizations to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development.

Since 1965, ARC has invested in thousands of community-based projects that have contributed to economic growth in Appalachia by training workers, creating jobs, and attracting additional investment capital to the Region. 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 non-ARC project funding, and leverage $765.8 million in private investments in Appalachia.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
ARC 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