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  |  November 8, 2018  |  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 44


ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas encouraged local funders to address the Region’s substance abuse crisis at Philanthropy West Virginia’s annual meeting.

Philanthropy West Virginia Discusses Region’s Substance Abuse Crisis

Since 1993, Philanthropy West Virginia has been the leading network of private, family, corporate, community, and public grant making foundations, corporate giving programs and foundations, giving circles, and private philanthropists investing in the Mountain State. Through its programs, services and technical assistance, the organization aims to strengthen the philanthropic community to become more efficient, effective, and impactful grant making in Central Appalachia. This week, Philanthropy West Virginia was in Charleston hosting its annual conference. Themed “Power of Persistence,” the agenda focused on how foundations can strengthen West Virginia’s education system, best align grant making goals with community needs, and expand community economic development. 

Another central question presented at the conference was how philanthropies and foundations can effectively engage in addressing the region’s substance abuse crisis. “Appalachians, on the whole, are 65 percent more likely to die from a drug overdose than the rest of the country and West Virginia is often considered ground zero in the region’s crisis with counties experiencing overdose related mortality rates two, three and sometimes even four times higher than the rest of the nation.” ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas reminded the audience. “Successfully addressing this cross-cutting, multi-faceted crisis demands creative partnerships. When partners like you are part of the conversation, the discussion becomes richer, the ideas are broader and the commitment is deeper,” he went on to say. After his remarks, Thomas participated in a focused discussion on the topic with leadership from several local funders including  the Bernard McDonough Foundation,  the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, the Sisters Health Foundation, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and the Comer Family Foundation.


Apprenticeships can be a valuable strategy for effective workforce development.

Happy National Apprenticeship Week!

Several Governors across the Region have signed state declarations in support of National Apprenticeship Week, which is happening November 12–18, 2018. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL), National Apprenticeship Week recognizes how apprenticeship programs successfully equip the next generation of workers with the competitive and technical skills to excel in a variety of growing industries. For decades, ARC has invested in apprenticeships, many of which are thriving in southern Appalachia. For example, in South Carolina,  Tri County Technical College, Spartanburg Community College, and Greenville Technical College are using ARC support to establish apprenticeship programs in partnership with local employers focusing on transportation, distribution and logistics. In Alabama, community colleges like Shelton State and Beville State are part of Apprenticeship West Alabama which pairs potential apprentices with local businesses participating in DoL Registered Apprenticeship programs in advanced manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and other industries important to southern Appalachia's economy. Shelton State is also partnering with the Tuscaloosa County School System and the Region 3 Workforce Council  to design an apprenticeship program for high school students interested in the automotive industry by building a mock logistics center mimicking real-life facilities. 

DoL has mapped over 750 activities across the country celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, many of which are happening in Appalachia. DoL has also developed a comprehensive planning toolkit for additional training centers, businesses, community colleges, or other partners interested in hosting similar events which is available at


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.


60 Percent of Pipeline Trainees in Armstrong County Program Got Jobs After 1 Month Course, Trib Live, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
MECC Has Big Plans for Appy Elementary Building, The Coalfield Progress, Norton, Virginia

Andover Redux: Reimagining the Village, The Tribune, Andover, New York
Kettlefoot Fire Lookout Tower Restoration Project Begins., The Tomahawk, Mountain City, Tennessee
A Tale of Two Economies: Mercer, Monroe Counties’ Success and Struggle Offer Lessons for Ohio,, Cleveland, Ohio

A guide to federal resources available to address the substance abuse crisis


2018 BAD Buildings Summit
Charleston, West Virginia
November 8

India: Sell to the World's Fastest Growing Market and Middle Class Webinar
11:00 AM EST
November 14

West Virginia Coding & Cyber Summit
Charleston, West Virginia
November 15

Social Enterprise Summit
Beckley, West Virginia
November 16

Southern Tier 8 Industry Summit – Series No. 1
Binghamton, New York
November 28

National Summit for Gateway Communities
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
December 11–13
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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