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A weekly email from the Appalachian Regional Commission
A weekly snapshot of news, announcements, and other tidbits from the Appalachian Regional Commission
ARC NEWS ROUNDUP  |  August 12, 2021  |  VOLUME 6, ISSUE 32
Photo Courtesy of Marshall University's Facebook.

POWER Takes Flight in West Virginia

During COVID-19, many sectors were forced to transition to maintain their business – including air travel. While air travel experienced a period of restrictions during the pandemic, manufacturers, retailers, and others still rely on air travel to transport materials across the country. In Huntington, West Virginia, air travel is still a burgeoning industry. As the region undergoes a transition away from a coal-based economy, the lack of aviation maintenance technicians adversely affects Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia’s tri-state economy.

With support from ARC's POWER Initiative, Marshall University offers a new Aviation Maintenance Technician program that will prepare individuals for aviation maintenance careers. The first of its kind in the region, students can earn a dual degree in Applied Associate of Science jointly awarded by Marshall University and Mountwest Community and Technical College. This project helps diversify the tri-state area’s economy, increases educational attainment of the workforce, and aligns workforce development and education efforts with industry demands.
“It’s impossible to have growth without giving people the tools and knowledge required to meet the economic development needs in our region,” said ARC Federal Co Chair Manchin at this week’s ribbon cutting event at Marshall University. “This program helps create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and re-employment opportunities, and creating jobs in existing or new industries.”

Learn more about ARC's commitment to workforce training and development.

Appalachian Governors Envision the Region

Each week leading up to Appalachia Envisioned, Appalachia's 13 governors are sharing their visions for creating opportunities and resilience in the Region. This collaborative and bipartisan project, led by ARC's 2020 States' Co-Chair Governor Ralph Northam, was launched in early July. Through the first week of October, 34 newspapers from New York to Mississippi will hear from every governor and ARC's Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. This week, Governor Justice's op-ed was published:

ARC and West Virginia: Partners in a state of improvement

West Virginia has a unique position within the ARC, because our entire state falls within the commission’s 420-county footprint. As a partner with ARC, each year I work to identify top priorities affecting West Virginia and its citizens. The top priorities include providing basic infrastructure, such as water and wastewater systems, to our most vulnerable West Virginians; addressing substance use disorder and creating a recovery ecosystem that assists with workforce reentry; and revitalizing our communities affected by reductions in coal extraction, in part by addressing abandoned and vacant buildings.

ARC Issues RFP for Appalachian Community Capacity-Building Pilot Program

Communities across the country are still recovering from the negative impact of COVID-19. To accelerate the recovery, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has made unprecedented funding available to Appalachian communities. ARC invites proposals from qualified organizations to design and execute several trainings that seek to help Local Development Districts (LDDs) and local elected officials navigate strategically deploying ARPA Local Fiscal Recovery dollars into their respective communities.

Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. ET, August 27 and should be submitted as one PDF or Word document to ARPAtrainingforums@arc.gov

Check out the RFP for more information.

$300 Million Available for Coal-Impacted Communities

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced its plan to invest $3 billion in communities through the American Rescue Plan. Through EDA’s "Coal Communities Commitment," $300 million of that funding will go directly to areas recovering from both COVID-19 and transitioning from coal-based economies.

This exciting funding opportunity is in partnership with President Biden's Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities, of which ARC's Federal Co-Chair is a member. The IWG has started facilitating listening sessions in coal communities across the country, some of which are in Appalachia. During today’s virtual workshop, which focused on revitalizing Western Pennsylvania’s energy communities, Co-Chair Manchin noted, "each of Pennsylvania’s 52 Appalachian counties possess opportunities, as well as challenges. We have worked very closely with Governor Wolf and his team, and Sheri Collins to support projects for coal-impacted communities in Pennsylvania."

If you’re interested in applying but unsure how to get started, EDA and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) are hosting a free virtual workshop on August 18 focusing on revitalizing West Virginia's energy communities. Register here. Check out their new website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, for updates.

ARC Seeks Partner for Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy Development

ARC is accepting proposals from organizations within the Region to work in partnership with ARC on the programming, curriculum development, and execution for the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA). Submitted proposals should describe a strategy for developing a residential summer camp experience for approximately 26 high school students on a college campus in the Appalachian Region.

Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. ET, September 3 and should be submitted via a PDF copy as one document to academies@arc.gov.   

Job Opportunities

Join the ARC team! We’re seeking candidates for the following positions to support our mission:
 

Appalachia In The News

Here’s what Pa.’s and N.J.’s Chunk of the $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Might Buy, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA

ARPA Funds Added to Town BudgetSWVA Today, Wytheville, VA

County Historical Society Expands Efforts at CenterThe Tribune Chronicle, Warren, OH

Full Documentary: Bridging the Great Health Divide Showcases Efforts to Fight Disparities in Rural AmericaWIS, Columbia, SC

AT&T Donates $25,000 to Bluefield to Help with Dilapidated StructuresBluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Map of the Appalachian Region

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s 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.
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Appalachian Regional Commission
1666 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20009-1068