A weekly email from the Appalachian Regional Commission
In the Region: A weekly snapshot of news, announcements, and other tidbits from the Appalachian Regional Commission
ARC NEWS ROUNDUP  |  October 11, 2018  |  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 40


Map: ARC POWER Projects per county - cumulative through Octber 2018
ARC has invested over $120 million in 149 projects touching 309 counties across Appalachia since 2015.

ARC Announces 35 New Investments to Strengthen and Diversify Region’s Coal-Impacted Economy

Today, ARC announced $26.5 million to expand and diversify the economy in Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities through the POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. Today’s 35 awards in 9 Appalachian states are projected to create or retain over 5,400 jobs and leverage more than $193 million in private investment into 59 of the Region’s coal-impacted counties by supporting workforce training and education in manufacturing, technology, healthcare, and other industry sectors. They also invest in infrastructure enhancements to continue developing the Region’s tourism, entrepreneurial, and agriculture sectors, as well as increase access to community-based capital, including impact-investing funds, venture capital, and angel investment streams.

“Today’s announcement is continued support for the work already underway to create new opportunities for those living in communities hardest hit by changes in the coal industry,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas. “These grants are a commitment to long-term diversification and economic growth in Appalachia.”

Earlier this year, ARC published An Economic Analysis of the Appalachian Coal Industry Ecosystem (CIE), a research series examining how Appalachia’s coal industry ecosystem (CIE) is being impacted due to changes in the coal industry. These reports explore some of the current and future economic effects of declining coal production on various components of Appalachia’s CIE, including supply chain industries, electric power generation, and transportation. The research finds that the impacts of the Region’s changing coal economy go far beyond the communities where coal is produced and touch communities throughout Appalachia.


Bright Spot: Sequatchie County, Tennessee
Comparative health indicators for every one of Appalachia’s 420 counties is searchable on

Partnerships Making Sequatchie County a Bright Spot for Health

According to, a recently released dashboard exploring health indicators in each of Appalachia’s 420 counties, there are significantly less primary care and specialty physicians in Sequatchie County, Tennessee, compared to the rest of the state, the region, and the country. Yet, further analysis finds that Sequatchie County is among the ten percent of Appalachian counties identified as a Bright Spot, performing better than expected on many health outcome measures given its characteristics and resources. For instance, Sequatchie County statistics on poisoning mortality, injury mortality, stroke mortality, heart disease mortality, and heart disease hospitalizations are better-than-expected. These results are likely influenced by local conditions and initiatives created by the county to improve overall well-being.

One notable initiative is the Sequatchie Health Council, a 40-member group established nearly thirty years ago that includes representatives of local businesses, social service agencies, the county health department, the county commission, schools, local media, medical offices, and the Tennessee Department of Health. Council members meet monthly to identify local health issues and find ways to address them. Other community-based partnerships continue to develop.  For instance, with ARC support, the Erlanger Health System, based in Chattanooga, is purchasing telehealth equipment to be installed in schools in Sequatchie and surrounding counties. While services will be managed through a contract with the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth, school district partners will staff and maintain the equipment. This program will make it easier for Sequatchie’s kids and families to access the health care services they need.

Both and the case study about Sequatchie County  are part of Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots, a research partnership between ARC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to offer a fresh approach to understanding health in Appalachia.



ARC Seeks Proposals to Create the Appalachian Leadership Institute

Help create the Appalachian Leadership Institute! ARC is accepting proposals from partners to develop a leadership program preparing state and local leaders to work for future improvements in the Region. Proposals due October 19, 2018. Read the RFP.

ARC Seeks Proposals to Complete the Development of Web-Based Grant Management System 

ARC is seeking proposals from qualified developers and/or companies to complete the development of its existing custom hybrid grant management system (ARCnet) into a fully web-based grant management system with an end-to-end electronic process. Proposals due November 16, 2018. Read the RFP.


Southwest Virginia Turning a Corner with Non-Traditional Economic Development, WVTF, Wise, Virginia
Funding Awarded to Replace Water Lines in Village, Herald-Star, Steubenville, Ohio
This Project Could Create 350 Jobs in One of the Nation’s Poorest Counties, Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Kentucky
The Tough Landscape of Economic Development, West Virginia Public Broadcasting
 Retraining Workers for New Jobs and New Lives After Prison and Addiction, New York Times


Sustainable Management of Rural and Small Systems Regional Workshop
Morehead, Kentucky
October 11

Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference
South Charleston, West Virginia
October 22–23

7th TransTech Energy (TTE) Business Development Conference
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
October 23–24

Partnerships and Pathways for Progress Conference
Monaca, Pennsylvania
November 1–2

West Virginia Coding & Cyber Summit
Charleston, West Virginia
November 15
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
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Washington, DC 20009-1068