Link to ARC home page.

ARC to Highlight Work in Area at Summer Meeting to be Held in Florence, Alabama

July 2007


WASHINGTON, July 23, 2007—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will highlight the economic progress of northern Alabama at its annual summer meeting, to be held in Florence July 25–26, 2007. ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope and representatives from the 13 member states of the Commission will be in attendance.

U.S. Representative Bud Cramer welcomed the ARC meeting. "The Appalachian Regional Commission has sponsored a number of programs that have supported the development of northern Alabama and the entire Appalachian Region. The Shoals community is an example of an area that has benefited from ARC's support to establish new businesses, educate its workforce, and preserve its natural resources. I'm pleased that ARC has chosen the Shoals to host its summer meetings, and I thank them for their continued support of our region."

While in Florence, Commission members and representatives will take a tour of North American Lighting, which employs more than 100 workers, and the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, which has nurtured emerging businesses in the area. More than 100 companies have started at the ARC-supported center since it was established in 1992, with its well-known commercial kitchen incubator, the Shoals Commercial Culinary Center, opening in 2001.

"ARC is pleased to hold its summer meeting in north Alabama," Pope said. "This is an area that is on the move. The Shoals Entrepreneurial Center is a proven success, having graduated 43 incubator clients and created more than 1,400 jobs. And the workforce development project we are now funding will help prepare young people for the jobs of the future."

In addition to visiting North American Lighting and the Shoals Entrepreneurial Center, Commission members will visit several national sites featured on the ARC/National Geographic Society Geotourism MapGuide to Appalachia, which appeared in National Geographic Traveler magazine. The sites to be visited include the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Florence, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and Ivy Green, home of Helen Keller, in Tuscumbia.