Appalachian Regional Commission Issues Request for Proposals to Help Appalachia’s Coal-Impacted Communities Diversify and Grow Local Economies

Funding priority areas include workforce training, broadband expansion, entrepreneurship, and business cluster development

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 2018—Today, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative for fiscal year 2018. POWER is a congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. Priority areas for ARC investments through this initiative include developing a competitive workforce, enhancing access to and use of broadband services, fostering entrepreneurial activities, and developing industry clusters. ARC is making up to $20 million available through the RFP.

More information, including eligibility requirements, application deadlines, and grant guidance, is available at

To support the 2018 POWER Initiative RFP, ARC is offering the following series of five free public workshops in the Appalachian Region:

  • Wednesday, February 14, California, Pennsylvania
  • Tuesday, February 20, Greenville, South Carolina
  • Wednesday, February 28, Daniels, West Virginia
  • Thursday, March 8, Hazard, Kentucky
  • Wednesday, March 14, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Registration is required to attend the workshops and is available at

ARC will also host a free webinar series about the 2018 POWER Initiative grant process, led by ARC POWER grant managers and subject experts. The webinars will be offered on the following dates and will be recorded and posted on ARC’s Web site for future viewing:

  • Thursday, February 8, 11:00 am ET: An Overview of What’s New in the 2018 POWER RFP
  • Thursday, February 15, 11:00 am ET: Good Grant Guidance for the 2018 POWER RFP
  • Thursday, February 22, 11:00 am ET: Understanding Appalachia’s Coal Industry Ecosystem
  • Thursday, March 1, 11:00 am ET: Finding the Right Match to Meet the 2018 POWER RFP Match Requirements

To date, ARC has awarded $94 million through the POWER Initiative to help coal-impacted communities in 250 Appalachian counties diversify and grow their economies. These investments are projected to create or retain almost 8,800 jobs, leverage an additional $210 million in investment, and prepare thousands of workers and students with globally competitive skills and opportunities in Appalachia.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission 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.