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ARC awards $15.7M in new round of funding to improve Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities

June 29, 2017

On June 14, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced $15.7 million in funding to support 18 projects (including those of two SSTI members – LaunchTN and Ohio University) that will help grow the economies in coal-impacted communities in seven states.   With this latest announcement, ARC has invested over $92 million (leveraging an additional $206 million in investments) to diversify the economies in 250 coal-impacted counties across 11 Appalachian states through its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. The new round of investments are intended to create and retain hundreds of jobs in advanced manufacturing and tech industries; support entrepreneurial development efforts, and, build workforce pipelines through institutions of higher education.

New grantees include:

  • $500,000 to LaunchTN in Knoxville, TN, for the Entrepreneurial Education and Workforce Development project to provide entrepreneurial support services to innovators, entrepreneurs, and early stage companies;
  • $300,000 to Ohio University in Athens, OH, for the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE Appalachia) project to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems that support the start-up and/or expansion, funding, growth, and sustainability of social enterprises;
  • $1.5 million to Alfred State College (ASC) in Alfred, NY, for the Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC) project;
  • $1.5 million to Bluefield State College (BSC) in Bluefield, WV, for equipment and program support for the Center of Excellence in Manufacturing Engineering (CEME);
  • $1.5 million to Washington Greene County Job Training Agency, Inc., in Washington, PA, for the Appalachian Region Code (ARCODE) Initiative that will teach high-demand skills in software engineering and development to displaced workers;
  • $1.2 million to Buckeye Hills Regional Council in Marietta, OH, for the Innovation Gateway Network of Appalachian Ohio project that will provide an innovative program of learning, makerspace activities, and entrepreneurship development in three multi-use facilities;
  • $1.2 million to the Southern Research Institute (SRI) in Birmingham, AL, to establish The Prosperity Fund to foster entrepreneurial activity in a four-county area in Alabama;
  • $1 million to Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont, WV, for Powering Up the Aerospace Workforce in Coal-Impacted Communities of West Virginia project;
  • $1 million to Youngstown State University (YSU) in Youngstown, OH, for the Excellence Training Center project, an advanced manufacturing education and workforce training facility; and,
  • $497,305 to the Morehead State University in Morehead, KY, for the next phase of Shaping Our Appalachian Region Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (SOAR STEM) project. 
federal agency