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Archived News and Highlights


 
In the Region This Week: September 8
TechHire Eastern Kentucky interns learn code for new careers; Try This West Virginia gives how-to help for healthier communities.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: September 1
ARC's Aspire Appalachia conference showcases best practices in rural development; Carolina Textile District rebuilds manufacturing industry in western North Carolina; Virginia's first community solar project will bring clean energy to four Appalachian counties.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: August 25
2016 POWER investments announced this week will create new opportunities in Appalachia's emerging economic sectors; West Virginia roundtable showcases strategies for helping diversify local economies in Appalachia's coal-impacted communities.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: August 18
Local groups use social media tools to combat Appalachia's opioid crisis; "gateway" communities create opportunity through natural and cultural assets; planning a future beyond coal.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

Commission Seeks Proposals for Two New Research Studies
ARC invites proposals from qualified research teams for two new studies: one that will examine economic resilience in Appalachia, and one that will evaluate ARC leadership and community capacity projects. Proposals are due in late August.
 
 

In the Region This Week: August 11
Farmers markets help grow jobs and local-food opportunities in Appalachian communities; new CDFI fund targets resources to northern Alabama's small businesses; coding camp retrains Pennsylvania miners for tech jobs.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

Commission Seeks Proposals for Research Study on the Coal Industry Ecosystem in Appalachia
ARC invites proposals from qualified researchers and consultants to examine the full ecosystem of the coal industry in the Appalachian Region through in-depth quantitative analysis. The research will identify, quantify, analyze, and map data on the coal ecosystem throughout the Region. Proposals are due August 19.
Request for proposals (PDF: 150 KB)
 
 

In the Region This Week: August 4
Team training for NC community leaders sharpens project planning strategies; ARC research efforts guide investments in Appalachia; "Backroad Journeys" podcasts highlight innovative farmers and food entrepreneurs.   Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: July 28
Appalachian students build STEM skills and career aspirations at Oak Ridge summer program; inaugural summit puts focus on restoring Central Appalachia's brownfields; RISE West Virginia brings flood recovery help to small businesses.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: July 21
Maryland breaks ground for improved safety and expanded development potential along I-68; "Made in Rural America" workshops to help boost small-business exports; Appalachian Tennessee communities win grants to enhance local tourism.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: July 14
Southern Highland Craft Guild showcases crafts of nearly 900 Appalachian artists; Goodwill Job Training and Employment Program serves 95 individuals in six Appalachian counties; New York communities receive free health care through military readiness training event.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

ARC Seeks Proposals for Research Study on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia
The Commission invites proposals from qualified researchers and consultants to examine the landscape of entrepreneurship in Appalachia through in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis. The research will document, analyze, and map data on entrepreneurial activity throughout the Region. Proposals are due July 15.  Request for proposals (PDF: 75 KB)
 
 

In the Region This Week: July 7
Community colleges spark entrepreneurial rebirth in Appalachia; Appalachian Food Summit focuses on preserving the Region's cooking traditions and creating a sustainable future; Abingdon, VA, town hall discusses the impact of opioid abuse in Central Appalachia.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: June 30
TechHire initiative to boost high-tech training and employment in South-Central Appalachia; Google partnership brings mobile study hall to NC students; helping AL schoolkids get a healthy start with SightSavers screening.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: June 23
ARC's August Aspire Appalachia conference spotlights rural development; Appalachian Higher Education Network helps students in 10 states pursue post-secondary education; Amazon.com fulfillment center to employ 500 in Braselton, Georgia.   Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: June 16
Data chartbook gives a statistical snapshot of Appalachia; mining businesses to explore new opportunities through MINExpo; West Virginia is rising star in Hollywood film productions.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: June 9
Bon Appétit Appalachia! maps the Region's local food businesses; building an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kentucky; "Save Our Towns" video series showcases southwest Virginia communities.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

ARC Releases Bon Appétit Appalachia! Map Guide to Local Food Businesses in Appalachia
ARC has released Bon Appétit Appalachia!, a searchable online map of local food businesses and entrepreneurs operating in the Appalachian Region. The map includes more than 830 local farms, restaurants, bakeries, breweries, wineries, and festivals in the 13 Appalachian states. An abridged print version of the map is being published in regional Edible Communities magazines in and around the Region.  Press release
 
 

In the Region This Week: June 2
SOAR Innovation Summit spotlights Kentucky's creative development strategies; Georgia communities get camera ready for the film industry; building skills for success at the New Opportunity School for Women.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: May 26
ARC's POWER team wraps up a regional workshop tour across five states; West Alabama Works mobile training unit hits the road; and coal miners consider pharmacy school.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: May 19
Building Appalachia's economy through infrastructure investments; Appalachia Funders Network creates progress through partnership; Ohio team works to revive region's manufacturing industry; Kentucky high school recognized as a National Silver Medal School.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

Legislative Update: Senate Approves FY 2017 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Legislation Providing $151 Million for ARC
Approved by the Senate on May 12, the legislation provides $5 million more than the Commission received in FY 2016. The funding total includes $50 million for the administration's POWER Initiative to help coal-impacted communities.  More
 
 

In the Region This Week: May 12
Millions in new capital for CDFIs will boost small business in Appalachia; Rural Impact County Challenge to help rural communities address child poverty; and restoring Appalachia's forests.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: May 5
Celebrating National Small Business Week in Appalachia, starting a community-solar cooperative in Virginia, and an Ohio mill comes back to life.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: April 28
A Pennsylvania town builds new opportunity after coal; IMCP boosts northwest Georgia's floor-covering industry; and Huntsville tops list of best cities for STEM graduates.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

ARC Partners with National Institute on Drug Abuse to Improve Opioid Intervention Services in Appalachia
With ARC support, NIDA will provide one-year research grants to address the dramatic increase in adverse outcomes of opioid injection drug use in Appalachia. Findings will help build a foundation for improved intervention programs and larger-scale research efforts to provide services addressing this growing public health threat. Applications are due April 28.  NIDA press release
 
 

In the Region This Week: April 21
The Appalachia Funders Network explores strategies for Appalachian transition; bringing state-of-the-art health care to northeastern Pennsylvania; and new manufacturing jobs in North Carolina.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: April 14
ARC's POWER workshops kick off in Virginia; learning local solutions at the SOAR Innovation Summit; and community radio gives voice in Kentucky.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

In the Region This Week: April 7
What's In The Region this week? The Development District Association of Appalachia comes to Washington, resources to analyze economic diversity in Appalachia, stories about hip-hop in Appalachia, and more.  Read more and subscribe to ARC's weekly news snapshot.
 
 

POWER Workshops Registration Open
ARC is co-hosting a series of technical assistance workshops in Appalachia this spring to help coal-impacted communities determine whether they are eligible for POWER Initiative funding, identify potential projects and collaborators, and apply for support for project implementation and/or technical assistance. The POWER workshops are free and open to the public.  Register now
 
 

POWER Technical Assistance Support Available for Appalachia's Coal-Impacted Communities
ARC is now accepting applications for technical assistance through the 2016 POWER Initiative to help Appalachia's coal-impacted communities with economic development planning, assessment activities, and capacity building to create a more vibrant economic future. $1.2 million is available through this technical assistance effort, which complements the $45 million available through ARC's POWER Initiative implementation grants. Learn more
 
 

Obama Administration Announces $65.8 Million Available for Economic and Workforce Development in Coal-Impacted Communities
Through the administration's POWER Initiative, communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy can apply for resources from ARC and EDA to develop new strategies for economic growth and worker advancement.  Press release
 
 

ARC Announces $45,000 Grant to the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham to Promote Public Health
The award is part of an effort by the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, to promote health in Appalachian and southern states.   Press release
 
 

Obama Administration Requests $120 Million for ARC for FY 2017
The president's fiscal year 2017 budget request for ARC includes $50 million for the multiagency POWER Initiative, which targets federal resources to help coal-impacted communities diversify their economies, create jobs, and attract new sources of investment.   Press release
 
 

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is Named 2016 ARC States' Co-Chair
Haslam was selected by his fellow Appalachian governors to serve as the Commission's states' co-chair for 2016.  Press release
 
 

Appalachian Communities Receive 2016 Local Foods, Local Places Initiative Awards
Six Appalachian communities are among the 27 awardees nationwide who will receive technical support to integrate local food into their community development strategies to help create economic opportunity, improve access to healthy local food, and revitalize rural downtowns and main streets.   Press release
 
 

Application Period Open for 2016 ARC-ORNL Summer Science Programs
Application materials are now available for two ARC-Oak Ridge National Laboratory learning programs to be held in summer 2016: a high school math-science-technology institute for students and teachers, and a middle school science academy for students. Both programs are all expenses paid and offer the opportunity to work with world-class scientists. Application deadlines vary by state from early to mid March.   Application information
 

 
2015
 
Legislative Update: President Obama Signs FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Legislation
Signed on December 18, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, provides a total of $146 million for ARC.  Legislative update
 
 

ARC Hosts 120 Student Leaders at 2015 Appalachian Teaching Project Conference
Students and faculty representing 15 Appalachian colleges and universities participated in the 15th annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) conference December 4–5, hosted by ARC. ATP helps build youth leadership by giving students the opportunity to develop applied research projects on emerging development issues in Appalachia and present their work to peers and leaders at an annual symposium.  Press release
 
 

Legislative Update: President Obama Signs Multi-Year Highway Bill Reauthorizing ARC through FY 2020
Signed by the president on December 4, P.L. 114-94 authorizes ARC's nonhighway program through FY 2020 at a funding level of $110 million a year.  Legislative update
 
 

Applications Due December 4 for ARC/NEA "Gateway Community" Technical Assistance Workshop
Community teams can apply through December 4 for a three-day regional workshop in Rogersville, Alabama, that will help them develop action plans for capitalizing on their area's unique natural and cultural-heritage resources. The workshop will be held February 9-11 at Joe Wheeler State Park.  More information
 
 

Appalachia to Get Boost from First Round of POWER Initiative Investments
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl was joined by state and federal officials October 15 in announcing POWER awards made to six projects in the Region to help diversify economies in areas impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector.  Press release
 
 

ARC's 2015 Annual Conference to be Held October 14-15
The Commission's 2015 conference, in Somerset, Kentucky, will showcase effective approaches to addressing key development issues facing Appalachian communities today. Sessions will focus on local models for increasing access to broadband, supporting employer-driven workforce development, and engaging the Region's next generation of leaders.  More information
 
 

Team Announced to Lead Innovative Community Health Research Project in Appalachia
PDA, Inc., of Raleigh, North Carolina, will be the lead investigator for "Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots," a regional public health research project exploring health outcomes in Appalachian communities. The project is sponsored by ARC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.   Press release
 
 

ARC and NEA to Offer Technical Assistance Workshops for Appalachian "Gateway" Communities
The three-day regional workshops in Berea, Kentucky, and Rogersville, Alabama, will help community teams develop action plans for capitalizing on their area's unique natural and cultural-heritage resources. The workshop application deadline is October 6.  More information
 
 

ARC Announces Investment to Provide Equipment, Support for North Carolina's Textile Industry
On National Manufacturing Day, October 2, ARC announced $300,000 in grants for state-of-the-art equipment and support for the Manufacturing Solutions Center, a division of Catawba Valley Community College in Burke County, North Carolina; Industrial Commons; and the Carolina Textile District, a Morganton-based network of small and medium-sized textile and apparel manufacturers. The investment will help strengthen North Carolina textile manufacturers' global competitiveness.  Press release
 
 

Obama Administration Selects Three Appalachian Communities as Rural IMPACT Demonstration Sites
Berea, Kentucky; Hillsboro, Ohio; and Oakland, Maryland, were selected to participate in the national Rural IMPACT demonstration project to help communities adopt a comprehensive, whole-family framework for addressing child poverty.  News brief
 
 

Kentucky Launches Development of Statewide Broadband Network
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers at Hazard Community and Technical College on August 31 to launch the development of KentuckyWired, a statewide broadband network that will provide affordable, reliable high-speed Internet connectivity across the state.  News brief
 
 

Legislative Update: Senate Approves Six-Year Highway Reauthorization Bill; Congress Extends Funding for Highway Programs through October 29
Approved July 30, the Senate surface transportation bill includes a six-year reauthorization of ARC nonhighway programs, as well as authorization for a new broadband deployment initiative at the Commission. Congress has passed a three-month extension of federal highway program funding to allow continued work on the reauthorization legislation.   Legislative update
 
 

Applications Due September 15 for 2015 Local Foods, Local Places Assistance
Through the second round of the Local Foods, Local Places program, agencies including ARC will provide direct technical support to help communities build strong local food systems to spur economic growth.  Press release
 
 

ARC Seeks Proposals for Research Study on Impacts of ADHS Completion
The Commission invites proposals from qualified research teams and consultants to conduct a large-scale research study on the economic and transportation impacts of the completion of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS). Proposals are due July 17, 2015.   Request for proposals (PDF: 500 KB)
NEW: RFP Questions and answers as of 7/13/15 (PDF: 100 KB)
 
 

Applications Due July 10 for ARC POWER Implementation Grants
Appalachian communities can apply to ARC through July 10 for POWER Initiative implementation grants of up to $75,000 each. Part of the up to $35.5 million in implementation funding available from federal agencies, the ARC grants will help communities undertake economic and workforce development activities developed through a region-wide planning process. The POWER Initiative was launched in March to assist communities and workers negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector.  More information
NEW: Application email submission instructions (PDF: 70 KB)
 
 

Pittsburgh Manufacturing Community is Selected for Support through National IMCP Competition
The Greater Pittsburgh Metals Manufacturing Community is one of 12 additional communities nationwide recognized through the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, which aims to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States. The communities will receive coordinated support from ARC and other agencies.  News brief
 
 

Obama Administration Announces 2015 Local Foods, Local Places Assistance
Through the second round of the Local Foods, Local Places program, agencies including ARC will provide direct technical support to help communities build strong local food systems to spur economic growth. Applications are due September 15.  Press release
 
 

ARC's Strategic Planning Survey Open through June 19
ARC is conducting a public survey on the issues, challenges, and opportunities in Appalachian communities as it develops a new strategic plan to guide its economic and community development efforts in the Region over the period 2016-2020. The survey is open to all community members and takes 10 minutes or less to complete.  Take the survey
 
 

June 17 Workshop in Mississippi Will Highlight Federal Health Funding Opportunities
Representatives of community health-care and economic development organizations in Appalachian and Delta Mississippi and surrounding states are invited to join a technical assistance workshop June 17 on HRSA's funding opportunities for health-care initiatives, with an emphasis on health-care workforce development programs. Co-hosted by ARC, HRSA, and the Delta Regional Authority, the workshop will also offer strategies for writing an effective funding application. Registration is free. Participants are encouraged to prepare for the workshop by watching the "HRSA 101" webcast available on HRSA's Web site.
 
 

ARC Announces Successful First-Round Investment Closing of Appalachian Community Capital
At the 2015 CGI America meeting on June 10, ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl announced the successful first-round investment closing of Appalachian Community Capital, a new central bank for development lenders that will increase the availability of capital to Appalachia's small businesses. More than $15 million in new investment capital has been committed. When fully funded, ACC is expected to leverage $233 million in private bank capital and help create 2,200 jobs.  Press release and video
 
 

Resources Available from EDA Webinar on POWER Initiative Grant Opportunities
On May 27, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the National Association of Development Organizations, and the National Association of Regional Councils hosted a webinar to provide guidance on the competitive grant opportunities available through the administration's POWER Initiative, including $500,000 in implementation grants from ARC. A recording of the webinar and presentation slides are now on the NADO Web site.
 
 

May 27 Webinar Will Focus on POWER Initiative Grant Opportunities
The U.S. Economic Development Administration, the National Association of Development Organizations, and the National Association of Regional Councils will host a webinar May 27 on the competitive grant opportunities available through the administration's POWER Initiative, a multi-agency effort to assist communities and workers impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector. Funding opportunities include $500,000 in implementation grants from ARC. The webinar will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT. Online registration is open.
 
 

Legislative Update: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill Containing $105 Million for ARC
The legislation provides a total of $105 million for ARC's FY 2016 nonhighway programs, of which $25 million is allocated for the administration's proposed POWER+ Plan to help communities that have been adversely impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector.  Legislative update
 
 

ARC to Offer POWER Implementation Grants to Assist Communities Affected by Changes in Coal Industry and Power Sector
The Commission will join EDA, ETA, and the SBA in offering a total of up to $35.5 million in funding through the administration's Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative launched in March. ARC grants of up to $75,000 each will help communities undertake coordinated economic and workforce development activities developed through a region-wide planning process. Applications for ARC funding are due July 10.  More information
 
 

2015 SOAR Strategy Summit to be Held May 11
The Kentucky Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative's 2015 strategy summit, "Creating Our Future: Regional Strategies for Growth and Development," will be held in Pikeville; agenda and registration information are available on the SOAR Web site.
 
 

Webinar, FAQ Offer Guidance on Proposed "Bright Spots" Appalachian Health Conditions Study
A recording is now available of a May 7 webinar hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky on the proposed "Bright Spots" research project initiated in partnership with ARC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to document disparities in health outcomes in Appalachia. Information from the webinar's Q&A period will also be incorporated into an updated FAQ available on the foundation's Web site.
 
 

May 7 Webinar and New FAQ Offer Guidance on Proposed "Bright Spots" Appalachian Health Conditions Study
On Thursday, May 7, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will host a webinar on the proposed "Bright Spots" research project initiated in partnership with ARC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to document disparities in health outcomes in Appalachia. The webinar will begin at 10:00 a.m. EDT and will provide a project overview and an opportunity for applicants to ask questions. To register, email Alexa Kerley at AKerley@healthy-ky.org. Applicants can also get more information on the project from a new FAQ available on the foundation's Web site.
 
 

Legislative Update: House Approves FY 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill Containing $95 Million for ARC
Approved on May 1, the legislation provides $95 million for ARC's FY 2016 nonhighway programs. This amount is $5 million more than the Commission's FY 2015 funding level. Action from the Senate appropriations committee is pending.  Legislative update
 
 

Legislative Update: House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill
Approved on April 22, the legislation provides a total of $95 million for ARC's FY 2016 nonhighway programs. This amount is $5 million more than ARC's FY 2015 funding level.  Legislative update
 
 

RFP Issued for Three-Year "Bright Spots" Study on Appalachian Health Conditions
ARC, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, invites proposals from qualified research teams and consultants to document and examine health conditions in Appalachia. The research project will document disparities in health outcomes, investigate the causes of local and regional disparities, and identify "Bright Spots," communities that have better-than-expected health outcomes given their economic status. The RFP is available on the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky's Web site.
 
 

ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl Honored with Visionary Impact Award
Gohl was recognized by U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers on April 7 at the 2015 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit for his leadership in the effort to combat prescription substance abuse.  Press release
 
 

ARC Issues 2015 Data Overview of Appalachian Region
ARC has issued the Population Reference Bureau's 2015 data overview of the Appalachian Region, based on the 2009-2013 American Community Survey. This annually published report provides state- and county-level information on a range of data topics, including population, race and ethnicity, education, employment, income and poverty, health insurance coverage, and disability status. This year's report also includes a new "degree field" education topic.  Read the report
 
 

Registration Open for ARC Strategic Planning Listening Sessions
ARC will hold a series of listening sessions in the Appalachian Region in May and June as it develops a new strategic plan to guide the Commission's economic and community development efforts over the next five years. Sessions will be held in North Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. More information and registration are available at www.arc.gov/sessions.
 
 

Federal Grant Opportunities Available to Support Development of Rural Health Networks
The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy will promote the development of rural health networks through two pilot programs targeting health-care training and care coordination. Application deadlines are March 31 and April 6.  News brief
 
 

March 30 Webinar Will Highlight Support Available through the Rural Energy for America Program
USDA Rural Development will host a free webinar on Monday, March 30, on how agricultural producers and rural small businesses can benefit from funding opportunities available through the Rural Energy for America Program for energy-efficiency improvements. The webinar will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT. Online registration is available.
 
 

POWER Initiative to Assist Communities Affected by Changes in Coal Industry and Power Sector
ARC Executive Director Scott Hamilton joined senior administration officials and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear in announcing the initiative, which will award competitive grants to help impacted communities diversify their economies, create jobs in new or existing industries, and provide skills training.  News brief
 
 

President Obama Announces TechHire Initiative to Boost High-Tech Training and Employment
The multi-sector initiative aims to help workers gain the skills needed for and connect with well-paying technology jobs. Eastern Kentucky and Chattanooga, Tennessee, are among the communities nationwide that have committed to developing strategies to expand workers' access to tech jobs.  News brief
 
 

ARC-Hosted Roundtable Examines Opportunities, Strategies for Eastern Kentucky's Technology Workforce
The March 4 gathering of workforce and technology leaders identified strengths in the effort to build a competitive technology workforce that can help diversify Appalachian Kentucky's economy.  News brief
 
 

EDA-IEDC Webinar Offers Guidance on "Manufacturing Community" Competition Applications
On February 20, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the International Economic Development Council held a webinar to provide guidance to communities applying for a "manufacturing community" designation from the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. A recording of the webinar is now available on the EDA Web site.
 
 

Report Cites Economic Progress and Challenges in Appalachian Region Since 1965
A new ARC research study shows that substantial economic progress has been made in Appalachia since the Commission's inception in 1965 but that significant challenges remain.  Press release
 
 

February 20 Webinar to Offer Guidance on "Manufacturing Community" Competition Applications
On Friday, February 20, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the International Economic Development Council will hold a free webinar to provide guidance to communities applying for a "manufacturing community" designation from the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership.  News brief
 
 

ARC Partners with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky on Three-Year "Bright Spots" Health Research Project
The innovative $1 million project will identify successful approaches to improving health outcomes in Appalachian communities to determine best practices that can help reduce the Region's persistent health disparities.  Press release
 
 

Obama Administration Requests $95 Million for ARC for FY 2016
The proposed fiscal year 2016 funding for ARC includes $25 million to implement the multiagency POWER+ Plan to help communities adversely affected by the decline in coal-related jobs diversify their economies and create new employment opportunities.  Press release
 
 

Applications Due April 1 for Next Phase of National IMCP Competition
The application process is now open for the next phase of competition under the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, which aims to help communities develop environments where manufacturing will thrive. The competition will designate additional "Manufacturing Communities" across the country, giving them priority in consideration for federal funding and coordinated assistance from ARC and other agencies.  News brief
 
 

President Obama Announces "America's College Promise" Proposal at Pellissippi State Community College
On January 9, President Obama visited the Appalachian Region to announce the America's College Promise proposal to make two years of community college free for responsible students, letting students earn the first half of a bachelor's degree and learn skills needed in the workforce at no cost. The event took place at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee.  News brief
 
 

Eight Appalachian Communities Create "Livable Communities" Action Plans to Develop Local Food Systems
The communities worked with small-town-development experts through the Livable Communities technical assistance program provided by ARC, EPA, and USDA, focused on the development of local food systems as a means of promoting economic diversification and the revitalization of traditional downtowns.  News brief
 
 

Application Materials Now Available for ARC-ORNL 2015 Summer Science Programs
Applications are being accepted for the summer 2015 ARC-Oak Ridge National Laboratory high school math-science-technology institute for students and teachers, and the middle school science academy for students. Both programs are all expenses paid and offer the opportunity to work with world-class scientists. Application deadlines vary by state from early to mid March.  Application information
 
 

New Tools for Job Seekers, Employers, and Community Leaders to Help Expand Opportunities for the Long-Term Unemployed
In support of the White House National Economic Council's efforts to improve recruiting and hiring of the long-term unemployed, Deloitte and the Rockefeller Foundation have collaborated to develop a series of handbooks designed to help expand opportunities for these workers. Based on interviews with employers, job seekers, and employment-focused organizations across the United States, the handbooks offer guidance and resources to help job seekers re-tool their job search; empower employers to tap into this talent pool; and enable communities to work together to mitigate this economic challenge. The handbooks are available for download on Deloitte's Web site.
 
 

ARC Seeks Proposals for Assistance with Strategic Plan Development
ARC seeks contractual support for a qualified team of planners, facilitators, and writers to assist the Commission with development of a new strategic plan. The selected contractor(s) will work closely with ARC and its local and state partners to shape the effort over the course of a nine-month period beginning in January 2015.  Request for proposals (PDF: 100 KB)
 

 
2014
 
Legislative Update: President Obama Signs FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Legislation
Signed on December 16, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, provides a total of $90 million for ARC's fiscal year 2015 nonhighway programs.  Legislative update
 
 

Legislative Update: Senate Approves FY 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, provides a total of $90 million for ARC's fiscal year 2015 nonhighway programs. The president is expected to sign the legislation.  Legislative update
 
 

Legislative Update: House Approves FY 2015 Omnibus Spending Bill; Congress Extends Agency Funding through Short-Term Continuing Resolution
Senate action is pending on the FY 2015 omnibus funding legislation passed by the House on December 11; a two-day continuing resolution will provide funding for government agencies, including ARC, through December 13.  Legislative update
 
 

Eight Appalachian Communities are Winners of National "Local Foods, Local Places" Grant Competition
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl joined USDA and EPA officials December 3 in announcing the eight winning Appalachian communities, which will receive technical assistance and implementation support to help them integrate local food systems into their economic development action plans.  Press release
 
 

AACC Hosts Webinar for Appalachian Community Colleges on Registered Apprenticeship Program Funding
The American Association of Community Colleges' November 5 webinar provided information to Appalachian community colleges on the U.S. Department of Labor's Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium initiative and anticipated upcoming funding opportunities for Registered Apprenticeship programs. A recording of the webinar is now available for viewing.
 
 

AACC to Host November 5 Webinar for Appalachian Community Colleges on Registered Apprenticeship Program Funding
The American Association of Community Colleges will hold a webinar at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5, to provide information to Appalachian community colleges on the U.S. Department of Labor's Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium initiative and anticipated upcoming funding opportunities for Registered Apprenticeship programs.  News brief
 
 

ARC to Participate in Next Phase of IMCP Initiative Supporting "Manufacturing Communities"
On October 31, the Obama administration announced the next phase of competition under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, which aims to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in American communities. The competition will designate additional "Manufacturing Communities" across the country, giving them priority in consideration for federal funding and coordinated assistance from ARC and other agencies.  News brief
 
 

Appalachian Governors Name New ARC States' Washington Representatives
As the governors' new Washington-based representatives to the Commission, Jim McCleskey and James Hyland will work with congressional principals to represent the Appalachian states' economic development goals and provide counsel on policy matters related to the Region and to ARC.  Press release
 
 

ARC and State of Alabama Hold October 8–9 "Investing in Appalachia's Youth" Conference
The Commission's 2014 fall conference in Florence, Alabama, explored strategies Appalachian communities can use to engage and support their young people and help reverse youth outmigration.  More information
 
 

Legislative Update: President Obama Signs Legislation Funding Government Agencies through December 11
Signed on September 19, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015, provides funding for ARC's nonhighway programs at a level of approximately $80.3 million.  Legislative update
 
 

National Entrepreneurship Challenge Focuses on Rural Entrepreneurs and Innovations; Applications Due September 15
The American Farm Bureau Federation's Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs and business innovations cultivated in rural regions of the United States. Participants will compete for up to $30,000 and technical assistance to help them implement their business concepts.  News brief
 
 

ARC Issues Reports on Water and Forest Resources in Appalachia
Part of a long-term research objective to understand Appalachia's natural assets, the two reports include inventories of the assets, analysis of their value and use, assessments of their potential contribution to economic development in the Region, and frameworks to help with planning their best use. The assessments' primary goal is to provide information that will encourage sustainable management of these assets across the Region.  See report details: water resources assessment and forest resources assessment
 
 

Scott T. Hamilton Joins ARC as Executive Director
Hamilton comes to ARC from the AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, a nonprofit organization serving the western region of North Carolina. He began his appointment at ARC September 8.  More information
 
 

ARC, USDA, and Commerce Host New York Export and Investment Forum
The September 5 forum in Cortland was one of a series of events taking place across the country to help grow rural economies as part of the White House Rural Council's Made in Rural America export and investment initiative. Sessions focused on expanding international market opportunities for rural businesses, including value-added agricultural producers.  More information
 
 

Report Examines College Completion Metrics in Appalachia
ARC has issued a new report that analyzes college completion metrics for the Appalachian Region, compares outcomes of students attending campuses inside and outside of the Region, and discusses stumbling blocks to college completion in Appalachia.  Report details
 
 

ARC Seeks Proposals for Program Evaluation of Telecommunications and Technology Projects
ARC invites proposals from researchers and consultants to conduct a large-scale program evaluation of its telecommunications and technology projects funded in fiscal years 2004 through 2010. The evaluation's primary goal is to determine the extent to which telecommunications and technology projects have contributed to the attainment of ARC's economic development objectives. Proposals are due on or before August 21.  Request for proposals (PDF: 100 KB)
 
 

Medical Training Mission Will Provide Free Health-Care Services in Western Maryland August 13–21
Residents of the western Maryland region will be able to receive free medical, dental, vision, and veterinary care services through the U.S. Department of Defense's Appalachian Mountain Innovative Readiness Training event.  News brief
 
 

On-Site Registration Available for August 18 "Made in Rural America" Export and Investment Forum in Birmingham
As part of the White House Rural Council's Made in Rural America export and investment initiative, ARC will host a regional forum in Birmingham, Alabama, on opportunities and resources to help expand rural trade and investment. Registration is free.  More information
 
 

Kentucky SOAR Extends Search for First Executive Director
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has extended its search for an executive director to lead the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative, established by Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers in 2013 to help eastern Kentucky create local development strategies addressing persistent challenges and realizing new opportunities. Applications for the position will now be accepted through August 15.   News brief
 
 

Scott T. Hamilton, President and CEO of AdvantageWest, Is Named ARC Executive Director
Hamilton comes to ARC from the AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, a nonprofit organization serving the western region of North Carolina. He will begin his appointment at ARC in September.  Press release
 
 

Cover of summer 2014 issue of <i>Food Traveler Magazine</i>, which includes ARC's new <i>Bon Appetit
Appalachia</i> tourism mapguide.
ARC Launches "Bon Appétit Appalachia" Tourism Mapguide
Published in the summer 2014 issue of Food Traveler Magazine, the new "Bon Appétit Appalachia" local-food mapguide showcases 283 of the Region's most distinctive food destinations, including local farms, farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, wineries, and other culinary attractions. The mapguide is also available as an interactive feature at www.visitappalachia.com.  Press release
 
 

Applications Due July 15 for "Local Foods, Local Places" Technical Assistance for Rural Communities
The new "Local Foods, Local Places" initiative, supported by ARC, USDA, EPA, DOT, and the Delta Regional Authority, will provide technical support to help rural communities develop and implement action plans promoting local food systems. Letters of interest are due July 15.  News brief
 
 

Legislative Update: House Approves FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill
On July 10, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation containing $80.317 million for ARC's fiscal year 2015 nonhighway programs. This amount is level with ARC's FY 2014 funding.  Legislative update
 
 

Legislative Update: House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill
Approved on June 18, the legislation provides $80.317 million for ARC's FY 2015 nonhighway programs. This amount is level with ARC's FY 2014 funding.  Legislative update
 
 

Kentucky SOAR Launches Search for First Executive Director
The Commonwealth of Kentucky will hire an executive director to lead the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative established by Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers in late 2013. SOAR aims to help eastern Kentucky create local development strategies addressing persistent challenges and realizing new opportunities. Applications are due June 30.   News brief
 
 

Legislative Update: House Subcommittee Approves Level Funding for ARC for FY 2015; Senate Committee Approves Bill Reauthorizing ARC's Nonhighway Programs through 2018
The House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development has approved appropriations legislation containing $80.317 million for ARC's FY 2015 nonhighway programs. Full Senate action is pending on a bill that would reauthorize ARC's nonhighway programs through 2018.  Legislative update
 
 

White House Rural Council Announces New "Local Food, Local Places" Initiative in Forum on Regional Food Economies
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on June 9 in announcing the new Local Food, Local Places initiative supporting local food system development in rural communities. The announcement was made during a White House Rural Council forum on local food systems' emerging role as economic drivers in rural communities and the federal resources available to support their development.  News brief
 
 

White House Rural Council to Host June 9 Virtual Forum on Regional Food Economies
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl will join USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx for a forum on local food systems' emerging role as economic drivers in rural communities, and the federal resources available to support their development. The forum will be live-streamed beginning at 12:45 p.m. EDT at www.whitehouse.gov/live.  News brief
 
 

ARC Hosts First "Made in Rural America" Regional Export Forum
As part of the White House Rural Council's Made in Rural America export and investment initiative, ARC hosted a regional forum in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, on June 4 on opportunities and resources to help expand rural businesses' international market opportunities.   More information
 
 

Rural Appalachian Communities Receive Free Health Care through Army Readiness Training Event
Residents of rural communities in the western North Carolina region received free medical, dental, vision, and veterinary services June 2–12 through the Appalachian Care Medical Mission, a U.S. Army innovative readiness training event supported by ARC.  News brief
 
 

Northwest Georgia Region and Tennessee Valley Designated As "Manufacturing Communities" in National IMCP Competition
The two Appalachian communities are among 12 nationwide that were recognized through the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative, which aims to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in American communities.  Press release
 
 

Appalachian Business Delegation Will Join "Trade Winds—The Americas" Trade Mission in Bogota
ARC's Export Trade Advisory Council will sponsor a multi-sector Appalachian business delegation to the U.S. Department of Commerce's May 19–21 Trade Winds business development conference and trade mission, focused on countries in South and Central America.  News brief
 
 

ARC Partners with Operation UNITE on 2014 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit; Video from Summit Now Available
ARC partnered with Operation UNITE to support the continuing education of medical professionals and community leaders attending the third National Rx Drug Abuse Summit April 22-24 in Atlanta, Georgia, an event aimed at fostering better understanding and cooperation among stakeholders working to combat the nationwide prescription drug abuse epidemic. Complete video coverage of summit events is available from WYMT-TV's Web site
 
 

Applicants to Receive Notice on ARC's TAACCCT Application Development Grants by May 14
ARC is offering competitive grants to support the development of applications to the fourth round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program, a multiyear initiative implemented by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers. Applicants who have submitted to ARC their letters of intent to participate in the TAACCCT program will be notified of their eligibility for reimbursement of application expenses by May 14.  More information
 
 

Materials Available from April 2014 Appalachian Diabetes Consultation
ARC's April 10 Appalachian Diabetes Consultation fostered discussion among diabetes experts, Commission members, and other key regional stakeholders on the disease and its implications for economic and community development in Appalachia. Presentations, handouts, and other materials from the consultation are available for download from the ARC Web site.  Consultation materials
 
 

Letters of Intent Due April 30 for TAACCCT Application Development Grants
ARC is offering competitive grants to support the development of applications to the fourth round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program, a multiyear initiative implemented by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade. Approximately $450 million will be awarded through the fourth round of the TAACCCT program. ARC application funds are available to organizations whose proposed projects will serve the Appalachian Region.  More information
 
 

ARC Partners with Operation UNITE on 2014 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit
ARC is partnering with Operation UNITE to support the continuing education of medical professionals and community leaders attending the third National Rx Drug Abuse Summit April 22-24 in Atlanta, Georgia.  News brief
 
 

ARC, EPA, and USDA Announce Winners of 2014 Appalachian Livable Communities Competition
Communities in Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and West Virginia were selected to receive technical assistance and implementation support through the 2014 Appalachian Livable Communities program, which focuses on developing local food systems as a means of revitalizing traditional downtowns and promoting economic diversification.  Press release
 
 

Applications Due April 14 for Federal "Manufacturing Community" Competition
Communities applying for designation as "manufacturing communities" from the administration's Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership must submit applications by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 14. Designated communities will receive priority in consideration for federal funding and assistance to help them create globally competitive environments that grow, retain, and expand manufacturing investment and spur international trade.  More information.
 
 

Registration Deadline Extended to April 11 for 2014 DDAA Professional Development Conference
Registration and hotel reservations deadlines have been extended to April 11 for the Development District Association of Appalachia's April 27–29 professional development conference in Kingsport, Tennessee. More information and registration are available on the DDAA Web site.
 
 

International Transportation Economic Development Conference to Be Held April 9-11
The link between transportation and economic development will be explored at the ARC-supported 2014 I-TED conference, to be held in Dallas, Texas. I-TED 2014 will focus on the emerging transportation needs of business and economic development communities at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels. More information and registration is available on the conference Web site.
 
 

ARC to Host Appalachian Diabetes Consultation on April 10
The Washington, D.C., consultation will foster discussion among diabetes experts, Commission members, and other key regional stakeholders on the disease and its implications for economic and community development in Appalachia.  More information
 
 

Appalachia Funders Network Holds 2014 Annual Meeting
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl spoke on Appalachia's economic transition at the network's fifth annual meeting, held April 1–3 in Athens, Ohio. The network is a group of public and private grant makers that works to promote an entrepreneurial-based Appalachian economy.  More information
 
 

Cover of 2014 DDAA Conference Program
2014 Development District Association of Appalachia Conference to Be Held March 23–25
The 2014 DDAA conference, "Serving Appalachia's Communities: Highlighting the Present and Visioning the Future," will be held March 23–25 in Arlington, Virginia. The conference will provide insight on key current and emerging development issues and opportunities, and share ideas that can help LDDs in their work with communities to chart a positive course for future development. Conference Web site
 
 

New ARC Study Examines Economic Diversity in Appalachia
The March 2014 ARC-commissioned study Economic Diversity in Appalachia analyzes economic diversity trends in Appalachian counties and sub-regions and offers case studies on diversification strategies used in ten counties in the Region. The study is accompanied by a Web-based tool that provides quantitative information on Appalachian communities' economic diversity. A recording of a March 11 webinar demonstrating use of the tool is available for viewing.  More information
 
 

March 11 Webinar Will Demonstrate Web-Based Tool on Economic Diversity in Appalachia
ARC will offer a webinar at 2:00 p.m. EDT on March 11 to demonstrate a new Web-based tool designed to support economic development planning in Appalachian communities by providing quantitative information on their economic diversity. The tool was developed as part of a Commission-funded research study on economic diversity in the Region.  News brief
 
 

Legislative Update: Obama Administration Requests $68.2 Million for ARC for FY 2015
The proposed budget for fiscal year 2015 assumes no major policy or programmatic changes for Commission activities and will continue the administration's interagency focus on strengthening and diversifying the Appalachian economy.  Legislative update
 
 

ARC-ORNL 2014 Summer Science Programs Application Materials Now Available
Applications are being accepted for the summer 2014 ARC–Oak Ridge National Laboratory high school math-science-technology institute for students and teachers, and the middle school science academy for students. Both programs are all expenses paid and offer the opportunity to work with world-class scientists. Applications for both programs are due March 7.  Application information
 
 

ARC Supports Launch of Southeastern Kentucky "Promise Zone" Announced by Obama Administration
The Commission has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation to begin implementing its "Promise Zone" economic revitalization project in eight southeastern Kentucky counties.  Press release
 
 

ARC Executive Director Thomas Hunter Retires after 20 Years of Distinguished Service
Hunter was honored by the 13 Appalachian governors for his service to the Commission and the Appalachian Region at ARC's annual governors' quorum meeting in Washington on February 23.  Press release
 
 

ARC-Sponsored Summit Will Highlight Rural Community Colleges' Role in Supporting Local Entrepreneurs
ARC and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship will host the regional summit on February 20 in Ghent, West Virginia.  News brief
 
 

EDA-IEDC Webinar Offers Guidance on "Manufacturing Community" Competition Applications
On February 19, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the International Economic Development Council held a webinar to provide guidance to communities applying for a "manufacturing community" designation from the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. A recording of the webinar, as well as a Q&A log and other webinar materials, is now available on the EDA Web site.
 
 

February 19 Webinar to Offer Guidance on "Manufacturing Community" Competition Applications
On Wednesday, February 19, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the International Economic Development Council will hold a free webinar to provide guidance to communities applying for a "manufacturing community" designation from the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership.  News brief
 
 

Administration's "Made in Rural America" Export and Investment Initiative to Help Rural Businesses Access New Markets
The White House Rural Council will lead the administration's efforts to connect rural business owners with federal resources and information to help develop their exporting potential. In his February 18 guest post on the White House Rural Council blog, ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl highlighted the opportunity the initiative presents for strengthening Appalachian businesses' capacity to compete in the global economy.  Blog post
 
 

Report Provides Expanded Data Overview of the Appalachian Region
ARC has issued the Population Reference Bureau's 2014 data overview of the Appalachian Region, based on the 2008–2012 American Community Survey. This annually published report provides state- and county-level information on a range of data topics, including population, age, race and ethnicity, employment, and income and poverty. New topics included in this year's report are health insurance coverage, disability status, veteran status, and poverty by age group.  Read the report
 
 

ARC and ETSU Offer Competitive Grants to Support Collaborative Health Projects in Distressed Counties
The ARC-ETSU "Regional Roadmap for a Healthier Appalachian Tennessee" competitive grant program will help communities in economically distressed Tennessee counties establish health initiatives linking health, economic development, and education. Applicants must submit a letter of intent to apply by February 3.  News brief
 
 

ARC Joins Federal Agencies in Accelerating Manufacturing Resurgence with Second Phase of "Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership"
Created to help communities develop environments where manufacturing will thrive, the IMCP brings together the resources of multiple agencies to help public and private partners create broad-based prosperity through well-paying manufacturing jobs.   News brief
 
 

Legislative Update: President Obama Signs FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Legislation Funding Government Agencies through September 30
Signed on January 17, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, provides $80.3 million for ARC's nonhighway programs.   Legislative update
 
 

Southeastern Kentucky Region is Designated as "Promise Zone" for Federal Revitalization Investment
An 8-county region of southeastern Kentucky has been designated one of the country's first Promise Zones as part of an Obama administration initiative to revitalize high-poverty communities.  News brief
 

 
2013
 
Legislative Update: Congress Approves Compromise Budget Agreement; House, Senate Appropriations Committees to Draft Omnibus Spending Bill for FY 2014
The compromise budget agreement approved on December 18 sets the government's discretionary spending levels for the next two years.  Legislative update
 
 

July Dates Announced for 2014 ARC–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Summer Learning Programs
ARC and Oak Ridge National Laboratory will offer a high school math-science-technology institute for students and teachers and a middle school science academy for students in summer 2014.  News brief
 
 

ARC, EPA, and USDA Announce Four Winners of Appalachian Livable Communities Competition
Communities in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi were selected to receive technical assistance and implementation support through the 2013 Appalachian Livable Communities program, which focuses on developing local food systems as a means of revitalizing traditional downtowns and promoting economic diversification.  Press release
 
 

Webinar to Examine Small-Business Access to Capital and Credit in Appalachia
Authors of ARC's comprehensive 2013 study on small businesses' access to credit and capital in Appalachia before and during the financial crisis will lead a 90-minute webinar on the study's findings and implications on Monday, December 9, at 2:00 p.m. (EST). The webinar will include discussion of the small-business lending landscape in Appalachia and of how banks, government, community organizations, and other stakeholders can work together to increase access to capital and credit for small-business development and job creation.  Webinar information
 
 

SOAR Citizen Summit to Focus on Development Strategies for Appalachian Kentucky
On December 9, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers will host a citizen summit to share new ideas and envision goals and strategies for moving Appalachian Kentucky forward. The summit, "SOAR: Shaping Our Appalachian Region," will be held in Pikeville. ARC and USDA Rural Development are providing support for the event. Additional information is available on the Kentucky Department for Local Government Web site.
 
 

A student participant speaks at ARC's 2013 annual Appalachian Teaching Project conference.
Appalachian Students Present Research at 2013 Appalachian Teaching Project Conference
On December 6 and 7, students and faculty representing 15 Appalachian colleges and universities participated in the annual Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) conference in Arlington, Virginia. Supported by ARC to help build student leadership capacity, the ATP gives college students the opportunity to engage in research projects that address endemic challenges facing communities in the Region.  Conference information
 
 

ARC and NEA to Offer Technical Assistance Workshops for Appalachian "Gateway" Communities
The three-day workshops, to be held in early 2014 in Abingdon, Virginia, and Shepherdstown, West Virginia, will help community teams develop action plans for capitalizing on their area's unique natural and cultural-heritage resources.  More information
 
 

ARC Entrepreneurship Conference Videos and Materials Now Available Online
Held November 6–7 in Charleston, West Virginia, ARC's 2013 fall conference explored how communities can create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports local businesses and fosters economic growth. Videos and presentations from the conference are now available on the ARC Web site.
 
 

New West Virginia Angel Investment Fund to Help Boost Local Business Growth
The ARC-supported fund, West Virginia Growth Investment, will pool the resources of accredited investors to support the development of small businesses in Appalachia.   News brief
 
 

Two Funding Opportunities Available to Local Diabetes Coalitions in West Virginia
The Marshall University Center for Rural Health is soliciting applications from new and existing diabetes coalitions in eligible West Virginia counties for two grant opportunities. Applications for both opportunities are due November 8.  News brief
 
 

Appalachian Capital Policy Initiative Highlighted in OCC Newsletter
The November 2013 issue of the online newsletter Community Developments Investments, published by the Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), focuses on financing business development and expansion in rural America and features an article highlighting the work of ARC's Appalachian Capital Policy Initiative. It includes a summary of the Commission's new study Access to Capital and Credit in Appalachia and a review of strategies to bring more capital to underserved Appalachian communities.  Read article on OCC site
 
 

ARC Commends Four Appalachian Winners in Make it in America Challenge
The four Appalachia-based winners of the national Make It In America Challenge, announced October 22, received awards ranging from $1.7 million to $3.5 million. The challenge is an administration initiative to accelerate job creation and encourage business investment in the United States.  Press release
 
 

Application Deadline Extended for 2013 Livable Communities Program
Up to five Appalachian communities will be selected for assistance through the 2013 program, which focuses on developing local food systems to help promote economic diversification and improved quality of life. The application period ends October 18.  News brief
 
 

Legislative Update: President Obama Signs Legislation Continuing Government Funding and Extending ARC Nonhighway Programs through January 15
The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, provides funding for agencies at their FY 2013 post-sequester funding level.  Legislative update
 
 

SEDA-Council of Governments Releases Energizing Small Communities Guide
Pennsylvania's SEDA-Council of Governments has released a how-to manual for small communities on developing programs to help reduce their conventional-energy use and boost their economic resilience. The Energizing Small Communities guide was developed through an ARC-supported pilot project to create an energy-independence initiative for the Appalachian community of New Berlin, Pennsylvania. The guide is available as a PDF (11 MB) on the SEDA-COG Energy Resource Center Web site.
 
 

ARC Seeks Proposals for Research Study on Structural and Socioeconomic Changes in Appalachia
ARC invites proposals for a research study that will examine significant structural and socioeconomic changes to the Appalachian Region since 1965. The purpose is to quantify and document changes to the Region during this time period and to evaluate ARC's contribution to the Region's economic development. Proposals are due on or before October 9, 2013.  Request for proposals (PDF: 100 KB)
 
 

Legislative Update: House Approves Continuing Resolution Providing ARC Funding through December 15
The legislation continues funding for ARC's nonhighway programs at the FY 2013 post-sequester level of $64.9 million.  Legislative update
 
 

Buy local produce sign at Mississippi farmers market
Mississippi Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour Highlights Farmers Markets, Product Promotion Efforts; Includes Announcement of Livable Communities Assistance for Appalachian Food System Development
ARC's September tour showcased successful local models in Appalachian Mississippi, highlighting the economic opportunity created by local food systems.  News brief
 
 

Appalachia USA Delegation to Promote Exports at 2013 Asia-Pacific International Mining Exhibition
The 25-member delegation of mining equipment, services, and technology professionals will promote their products and expertise and meet with potential clients and business partners from throughout the Asia-Pacific region.  News brief
 
 

Photo of ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl and USDA Deputy Under Secretary Joani Walsh with Bonfatto's Spice Cream owner David Letterman on August 5, 2013, during a visit to the company as part of ARC's Pennsylvania Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour.
Pennsylvania Tour Highlights Role of Specialty-Food Businesses, Organics Producers in Local Food Economy
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl was joined by USDA Deputy Under Secretary Joani Walsh on the August Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour in Pennsylvania, ARC's tenth in a series examining the job-creation potential of local food systems in Appalachia.  News brief
 
 

Photo of Maryland Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour participants at Frostburg State University's Grow It Local greenhouse on July 26, 2013.
Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour Showcases Training and Education Programs in Appalachian Maryland
Culinary and agricultural education and training programs, as well as small businesses and farms, were among the destinations included in ARC's July 25-26 Maryland tour highlighting the economic opportunity created by local food systems.  News brief
 
 

Photo of ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl and South Carolina state and local officials with the Hub City Farmers Market mobile market on July 11, 2013.
South Carolina Tour Highlights Innovative Approaches to Economic Growth through Local Food Systems
ARC officials completed a two-day South Carolina leg of the Commission's ongoing Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour on July 12, visiting programs including a mobile farmers market and unique culinary and food-service training efforts.  News brief
 
 

Photo of ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl and Finger Lakes Fresh staffers Liz Keyser and Curran McKee in Ithaca, New York.
New York Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour Includes Announcement of ARC Grants for Regional Farmers Market, Food Distribution Hub
The Commission's June 25–28 tour showcased innovative local models and regional success stories in Appalachian New York, highlighting the economic opportunity created by local food systems.  News brief
 
 

Legislative Update: Senate, House Appropriations Committees Approve FY 2014 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bills
The June 2013 bills contain $68.2 million and $70.3 million, respectively, for ARC's fiscal year 2014 nonhighway programs.  Legislative update
 
 

Photo of ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl and Clinton Global Initiative founding chair Bill Clinton at June 14, 2013, announcement of Appalachian Community Capital (ACC), a central bank for development lenders.
ARC Launches Appalachian Community Capital Initiative to Build Access to Credit in Region
At the 2013 CGI America meeting on June 14, ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl announced the creation of Appalachian Community Capital, a new central bank for development lenders that will increase the availability of capital to Appalachia's small businesses. It is expected to leverage $233 million in private bank capital.  Press release and video
 
 

West Virginia Marks 150 Years of Statehood
Founded as the nation's 35th state in 1863, West Virginia is commemorating its sesquicentennial with special events through the month of June.  News brief
 
 

Photo of ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl and USDA Rural Development Acting Under Secretary Doug O'Brien listening to Rural Action Executive Director Michelle Decker.
Specialty Food Businesses, Farm-to-School Programs a Focus of Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour in Ohio
ARC Executive Director Earl Gohl and state and local officials were joined by USDA Rural Development Acting Under Secretary Doug O'Brien on the June tour. The tour was ARC's sixth in a series highlighting the potential of local food systems to create economic opportunity in Appalachia.  News brief
 
 

ARC-Supported Study Examines Best Practices, Economic Development Impact of Rural Business Incubators
A comprehensive new study conducted by the National Business Incubation Association identifies the best practices used by successful business incubators to grow companies and jobs in rural areas.  News brief
 
 

Senior Federal and State Officials Join ARC for Appalachian Jobs and Local Food Systems Tour in West Virginia
Sites visited on the three-day tour included food-related businesses, farms, and schools, highlighting the economic opportunity created by local food systems in West Virginia and showcasing innovative local models.  Press release
 
 

Delegation Promotes Appalachian Exports through Multi-Sector Trade Mission in Asia
Executives from 25 Appalachian firms and organizations participated in an Appalachia USA delegation to the May 2013 Trade Winds Asia Forum, a U.S. Department of Commerce business development conference and trade mission in Seoul.  News brief
 
 

Appalachian Business Delegation to 2013 Trade Winds Forum Will Explore Export Opportunities in Asia
A multi-sector business delegation from the Region will participate in the May 2013 Trade Winds Asia Forum, a U.S. Department of Commerce business development conference and trade mission in Seoul.  News brief
 
 

Logo for 2013 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit
2013 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit to Be Held April 2-4
Operation UNITE will hold the 2013 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit April 2-4 in Orlando, Florida. ARC is partnering with UNITE to support the continuing education of medical professionals and community leaders at the summit.  News brief
 
 

ARC Launches Foodways Tour at Appalachia Funders Network Conference
ARC's 13-state Appalachian Foodways Tour, launched in Asheville, North Carolina, on March 20, will highlight the potential of local food systems to create economic opportunity and grow jobs.  Press release
 
 

Make it in America Challenge FFO Issued March 18; Deadline for ARC Application Development Grants is April 1
ARC is offering competitive grants to support the development of applications to the Make it in America Challenge, a federal funding opportunity focused on increasing the insourcing of American jobs. The challenge will award a total of up to $40 million to winning projects. ARC funds are available to organizations whose proposed projects will serve the Appalachian Region; applications are due April 1.  More information
 
 

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is Honored by Development District Association of Appalachia
Brown received the DDAA's 2013 Congressional Award on March 12 for his ongoing support for economic development efforts in the Region.  Press release
 
 

Legislative Update: Obama Administration Requests $64.6 Million for ARC for FY 2014
The administration's proposed budget requests an amount roughly even with ARC's post-sequester FY 2013 funding and assumes no major policy or programmatic changes for Commission activities.  Legislative update
 
 

Online Registration Ends March 6 for 2013 Development District Association of Appalachia Conference
The 2013 DDAA conference, A Proud Heritage and a Bright Tomorrow, will be held March 10–12 in Arlington, Virginia. The conference will provide insight on key current and emerging development issues and opportunities, and share ideas on how LDDs can build on their knowledge to better meet Appalachian communities' needs. Conference Web site
 
 

ARC to Produce Local Food Mapguide with American Heritage Society
The tourist-oriented mapguide will showcase Appalachian food-heritage and agritourism attractions to boost tourism and stimulate economic development in the Region.  News brief
 
 

ARC to Co-Sponsor Mississippi Food Summit on March 1
The Mississippi Food Summit will promote discussion of efforts to grow the state's sustainable food economy. The summit will be held in Oxford in conjunction with the Gaining Ground Sustainable Living Conference. More information
 
 

ARC-ORNL 2013 Summer Science Programs Application Materials Available
Applications are now being accepted for the summer 2013 ARC–Oak Ridge National Laboratory high school math-science-technology institute for students and teachers, and the middle school science academy for students. Both programs are all expenses paid and offer the opportunity to work with world-class scientists. Applications for both programs are due February 27, 2013.  Application information
 
 

New Report Provides Data Overview of the Appalachian Region
A report prepared by the Population Reference Bureau details state- and county-level data on population; age; race and ethnicity; housing occupancy and tenure; education; labor force, employment, and unemployment; income and poverty; and migration patterns. The report is based on data from the 2007–2011 American Community Survey for the 13 Appalachian states.  Read the report