ARC awards an additional $2.5M to improve Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities
On March 28, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced nearly $2.5 million in grants to expand and diversify the economy in coal-impacted communities across multiple states. With this latest announcement, ARC has now invested $75.5 million (leveraging an additional $142 million in investments) to diversify the economy in 236 coal-impacted counties across nine Appalachian states through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. The new round of investments are intended to create and retain hundreds of jobs in advanced manufacturing and agriculture; build a workforce pipeline through the region’s community colleges; and, identify additional economic opportunities for economic growth.
New grantees include:
- $1.5 million award to the Canaan Valley Institute in Davis, WV, for a Sustainable Jobs Initiative to create an economic diversification and entrepreneur training program to grow the apiculture (honey and bee products) and native plant industries across 14 coal-impacted counties in southern West Virginia.
- $750,000 to the Huntington Municipal Development Authority in Huntington, WV, for the Polymer Technology Center of Huntington (P-TeCH) to provide support for specific projects as part of a larger strategy for creating jobs and businesses in the regional polymer industry with a specific focus on advanced manufacturing.
- $175,000 to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in Washington, D.C., for the Industry-Informed Infrastructure in Appalachian Colleges (I3) project to expand the industry connections and technical training capacities of community colleges serving coal-impacted communities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, along with adjacent areas of neighboring states.
- $41,065 to the Workforce Initiative Association in Canton, OH, for the Coal Business United Resource Network (Coal BURN) Real-Time Insights for Real-Time Actions project to implement a formal multi-state planning process to obtain a better understanding of current and future workforce opportunities (“real-time” data) in coal-impacted communities in parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.