On March 17, 2022, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded nearly $21 million for 21 regenerative projects impacting 211 counties through its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative.
POWER targets federal resources to revitalize communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries.
The award announcement took place at a roundtable event in Youngstown, Ohio to discuss strategies and new opportunities to enhance industry growth in coal-impacted communities.
“We are so excited to award this new round of funding for Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin, whose husband, Joe, is working hard in the U.S. Senate to further devitalize those same communities.
“The partnerships forged through POWER projects help transform economies across county and state lines to help build a more resilient, thriving Appalachia. When the Appalachian region’s coal-impacted communities succeed, the rest of our country is made stronger,”
With these awards, ARC has invested more than $316.6 million in 393 projects across 358 coal-impacted Appalachian counties since POWER’s establishment in 2015. Together, ARC’s investments are projected to have helped create or retain more than 36,600 jobs and prepare nearly 14,300 workers and students for new employment opportunities in entrepreneurship, broadband development, tourism, and other emerging industry sectors.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo attended the Youngstown Roundtable as part of her tour of the region focused on Economic Development Administration (EDA) efforts in support of local strategies to diversify and grow the regional economy.
“The Economic Development Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission enjoy a strong and vital partnership, and I am proud of the work that we do together to help create economic opportunity and jobs in the 13-state Appalachian region,” Castillo said.
“We congratulate the new ARC POWER grantees, many who are either prior or current EDA grantees, and pledge to continue to work together and collaborate widely with all regional stakeholders to assist plans to diversify and grow Appalachia’s economy,” she added.
The 21 new projects announced today will support entrepreneurship, workforce development, infrastructure, tourism, and healthcare projects to create jobs, expand job and skills training, and attract new private investment in Appalachian communities affected by the downturn of the coal industry.
“With this new round of investment through ARC’s POWER grants, coal-impacted communities will gain opportunities that help bring 21st century jobs to the region,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland. “We are excited to see these projects succeed in helping create a stronger economic future for Appalachia.”
ARC Is Seeking Proposals for Additional POWER Projects
ARC is also still accepting applications in response to its POWER 2022 Request for Proposals. Letters of Intent (LOI) for implementation grants up to $1.5 million and planning grants up to $50,000 under POWER are due April 4, 2022.
The deadline for final applications is April 29, 2022. Award announcements are anticipated to be made in the fall of 2022.
Photo of thurmand, West Virginia via Pixabay.