On August 23, 2022, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) launched Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE), a new initiative to drive large-scale, regional economic transformation through multi-state collaborative projects across Appalachia.
Using the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021), ARC launched ARISE to strengthen Appalachian business and industry, and to revitalize economic opportunities across multiple states.
In total, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $1 billion in ARC over five years.
“ARISE encourages our states to think as one united Appalachian Region to have a transformational economic impact across ARC’s 13 states,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin.
“In order to have true, large-scale change in Appalachia, we need to be working together at every level—within communities, throughout states, and across state lines. ARISE complements and expands on local and state efforts by fostering collaboration across state lines to produce a more robust and sustainable regional economy,” she continued.
In addition to being multistate collaborations, ARISE project proposals must address at least one of ARC’s five strategic investment priorities: 1.) building businesses, 2.) building workforce ecosystems, 3.) building infrastructure, 4.) building regional culture and tourism, or 5.) building leaders and community capacity.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s official 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.
“ARISE is an innovative program that will spur further economic recovery as we work together to navigate the challenges of the 21st century,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland.
“The Appalachian region is full of untapped potential, and I am confident that ARISE is the jump start we need to increase economic opportunities for the millions of citizens throughout the region,” he added.
In conjunction with the ARISE RFP, ARC released a new toolkit to help potential applicants understand the impacts, challenges, solutions, and critical factors involved in building, growing, and sustaining successful multistate initiatives.
The toolkit synthesizes this information and provides case study examples of successful regional multistate partnerships, and offers more detailed information regarding partnership building, grant operations, challenges, and best practices involved in building a successful multistate initiative.
Proposals for ARISE grants will be accepted on a rolling basis, but ARC will prioritize reviewing complete applications on a quarterly basis as funds remain available.
Photo of Emporia, Virginia via Wikipedia.