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ARC Awards $16.4M+ to Grow Green Manufacturing in Northern and Central Appalachia and nearly $54 million for its POWER initiative

November 02, 2023

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently awarded new grants totaling over $16.4 million to boost green energy manufacturing and workforce development through its Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) funding opportunity.  ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative recently awarded nearly $54 million to projects that will leverage entrepreneurship, workforce development, and infrastructure to bolster re-employment opportunities, create jobs in existing or new industries, and attract new sources of investment in communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.

Projects funded through ARISE include:

  • A $10 million ARISE grant to Catalyst Connection of Pittsburgh, PA, will help 1,000+ small to medium manufacturers expand or enter green technology and clean energy sectors in 156 counties across Appalachian Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia. Funds will be used to provide training, technical assistance, supply chain mapping, and guidance on factory upgrades to support manufacturers of renewable energy, hydrogen power, low-carbon and decarbonized power, smart grid improvements, electric vehicles, and green buildings.
  • A $4.5+ million ARISE grant to the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission of Towanda, PA, will prepare and train an estimated 3,400+ students and young adults in Pennsylvania and New York for jobs in emerging industries. The project aims to engage employers with youth education providers to increase labor participation in Northern Appalachia.
  • Beneficial Electrification League is receiving a $500,000 grant to support the modernization of electric systems for more affordable, energy-efficient utilities in Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
  • Green Building Alliance is receiving a $500,000 grant to plan to develop a green building supply chain and workforce pipeline in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  • Rural Action, Inc. is receiving a $498,300 grant to expand capacity-building efforts, technical assistance, and engagement opportunities with Central Appalachian Network (CAN) in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Virginia Tech is receiving a $453,743 grant to strengthen workforce development efforts for the industrialized construction field in Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

ARISE Awards to date equal more than $48.6 million in 13 projects bolstering workforce developmentclean manufacturinginfrastructure, and other sectors in 12 Appalachian states. Learn more about ARISE and the recent updates to the application process at www.arc.gov/ARISE.

The POWER awards went to organizations in Alabama (1), Kentucky (9), New York (1), North Carolina (2), Ohio (11), Pennsylvania (19), Tennessee (4), Virginia (4), and West Virginia (13).  Among the projects awarded were ones that will provide quality support for college and university students with entrepreneurial aspirations. Others will create regional talent pipelines to create high-paying jobs with industry credentials; build competitive workforces in semiconductor manufacturing; support advanced technology technology startup companies by providing access to lab space, mentoring, programming, guidance, prototyping resources, and sources of early-stage capital, establish advanced manufacturing technology training programs, and more.

Among the award recipients is SSTI member, AgLaunch which will design a scalable expansion of its successful Farm-Centric Innovation Model. The model is aimed at creating a business platform for the exchange of farm-level data and knowledge, involving farmers' acres to incubate a range of new innovations spanning from robotics to market transparency solutions. This model, which has already supported numerous startups and generated substantial funding and job opportunities, strives to enhance farm efficiency, promote sustainable practices, and contribute to the prosperity of farming communities. The project will result in the development of one strategic plan that AgLaunch intends to use as a tool for future funding opportunities to implement its Farm-Centric Innovation Model in neighboring states’ coal-impacted communities.

ARC, clean energy, rural POWER workforce