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Appalachian Regional Development Initiative

The Appalachian Regional Development Initiative (ARDI) is a partnership among ARC and 13 federal agencies working to strengthen and diversify the Appalachian economy and better coordinate federal efforts in the Appalachian Region. The initiative was created in the fall of 2009 in consultation with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and was formalized in November 2010 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) by ARC and partnering agencies.

Developed after an assessment of the Appalachian Region's economy and a regionwide series of listening sessions to gather input from local leaders and citizens, the MOU calls on agencies to identify challenges they have encountered in their work in Appalachia and help formulate strategies for addressing them, as well as to conduct federal outreach to local communities to help them participate in federal programs. The MOU also charges agencies to partner with regional organizations in making strategic and cost-effective investments in Appalachia.

Federal agencies participating in the initiative are the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Transportation, and the Treasury; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Small Business Administration; the Corporation for National and Community Service; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Technical Assistance Workshops

As a first step in implementing the ARDI memorandum of understanding, ARC and USDA held six federal technical assistance and outreach workshops across the Region in 2011. The workshops, which provided information on federal funding opportunities and the federal grant application process, were free and open to the public. They were held in Mississippi, New York, and Kentucky in the spring, and in West Virginia, Virginia, and Alabama in the fall.

Presentation materials and videos from the fall 2011 workshops and the spring 2011 workshops are available for download.

ARDI Pages

History of the ARDI
ARDI Memorandum of Understanding
Webcast of ARDI MOU Signing Ceremony, November 12, 2010