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  |  September 27, 2018  |  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 38


ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas (center) and Wendi Peters of the Governor’s Office for Smart Growth (center right) visited schools in Garrett and Allegany counties to learn how STEM education is a priority in every education level in Appalachian Maryland.

STEM Anchors Economic Development in Appalachian Maryland

Yesterday,  ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas joined Wendi Peters, Maryland Department of Planning’s Special Secretary of Smart Growth, on a tour of Allegany and Garrett counties to see how STEM education and training is driving economic development in Appalachian Maryland. The day began with a conversation with Frostburg State University’s President Ron Nowaczyk about emerging plans to create a Western Maryland Autonomous Technology Center (ATC). Drawing on recommendations and findings from an ARC-supported feasibility and planning study, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan recently announced a state-based working group to foster partnerships across educational institutions, workforce training programs, and private sector employers to continue development plans for the ATC. ARC has also invested in the development of the Western Maryland Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing Center (WMD UAV RSC) at Frostburg State to train students in all aspects of UAV remote sensing operations and best practices for UAV-based data products. According to industry statistics, North America holds the largest market share of the global Autonomous Vehicles market, which is expected to reach over $24 billion by 2027.
Schools across Appalachian Maryland are making a concerted effort to integrate STEM education into every curriculum level.  For instance, Garrett County high school students are teaching robotics and other STEM applications to elementary school students in Accident, Maryland. The county is hoping to expand this pilot student-to-student teaching model to other schools. The Allegany County Board of Education, the Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, and other local partners are strategically expanding broadband access in the area, with a specific focus on connecting schools, industrial parks, and businesses to strong and reliable broadband networks. Meanwhile, Garrett College is using ARC funds for digital dissection tables, updated software, expanded wireless access, and other equipment to support the College’s emphasis on STEM training, and the Allegany College of Maryland is expanding its automotive technology, advanced manufacturing, and other STEM related offerings.


ARC Executive Director Scott Hamilton and Carroll County Development Authority Chair Tim Warren cut the ribbon on the Tinker’s Box, a new entrepreneurial lab facility in northern Georgia.

‘Tinker’s Box’ Gives Georgia's Entrepreneurs a Creative Start

For over 17 years, Carroll Tomorrow, a unique public-private economic development partnership, has been spurring creative business expansion across a seven-county footprint in Appalachian Georgia. This week, ARC Executive Director Scott Hamilton joined Carroll Tomorrow CEO Daniel Jackson, Carroll County Development Authority Chair Tim Warren, and other community leaders to officially open Carroll Tomorrow’s Tinker's Box, an innovative makerspace for new entrepreneurs. Featuring over 2,500 square feet of lab space, the Tinker’s Box will focus on technological innovation such as computer programming, coding, digital design, materials science, electronics, and robotics. Laser engravers and cutters, metal and wood fabrication tools, a media design lab, 3-D printers, and industrial sewing machines are also part of the plan. Already in use by West Georgia’s College of Science and Math students, the Tinker's Box is a feeder program for the Burson Center, a successful business incubator. Using ARC support, the Burson Center has graduated 130 graduate startups which invest over $70 million into the region. Together, the Tinker’s Box and the Burson Center expand capacity for area inventors, ‘garage tinkers’ and small businesses to conduct product development from concept to prototype with the possibility of then incubating toward full commercialization. “This project has the potential for providing a major positive impact on entrepreneurship in this region,” said Carroll County Development Authority Chair Tim Warren. “Our development authority is about creating jobs and this ‘idea room’ ignites innovation and innovation attracts entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs create jobs."


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.


Region Has 'The Right Workforce; We Just Need to Produce More' The Daily Journal, Tupelo, Mississippi
Avery County Receives Grant From Appalachian Regional Commission to Expand Broadband Access, High Country Press, Boone, North Carolina
Bright Spots in Appalachian Health, Lane Report, Lexington, Kentucky
How Impact Investors Can Better Serve Communities: Ask Them What They Need, Fast Company Magazine
Hope for Change in Appalachia, US News and World Report


Firmly Rooted: Building Enterprise and Ownership in a Regional Food Economy
Athens, Ohio
September 27

EntreEd Forum
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
September 28–30

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

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

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