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 18, 2018  |  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 41


Image collage: ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas discussed eastern Kentucky’s expanding health care sector with U.S. Representative Hal Rogers and others and delivered a speech at Morehead State University.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas discussed eastern Kentucky’s expanding health care sector with U.S. Representative Hal Rogers and others and delivered a speech at Morehead State University.

Keeping Up with Health Care in Kentucky

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), with more than 5,000 employees, is both eastern Kentucky’s largest health care provider and largest employer. However, ARH is struggling to fill all the jobs required to meet the region’s various health care needs. In 2016, ARH formed a partnership with the Galen School of Nursing to open a new College of Nursing in Hazard, Kentucky. Using ARC support, the school was able to purchase equipment to stand the program up. Enrollment demand quickly skyrocketed due to the local nursing shortage. In continued partnership, Hazard’s Galen Nursing School used ARC support to expand its capacity and double the incoming nursing class. Yet, there are still many qualified and eager students who are not admitted due to space.

Developing a robust pipeline to meet eastern Kentucky’s health care needs was one of the central questions of an expert roundtable convened by Congressman Hal Rogers in eastern Kentucky this week. Health care employers, like ARH as well as other local hospitals and clinics, described how many good jobs in nursing, phlebotomy, and other health specialties stand vacant. Meanwhile, educational institutions like community colleges and the Galen Nursing School, are working to meet demand for trained workers yet can’t keep up. ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas participated in the discussion to better understand how federal agencies like ARC can make strategic investments to help eastern Kentucky meet its health care needs. "It’s great to hear from the people on the ground who are doing the work first-hand. It hits right at the very heart of ARC's mission to improve our Appalachian Region and build a stronger workforce," he reflected.

While in the area, Thomas also delivered the inaugural address of the McBrayer Presidential Lecture Series in Government and Leadership at Morehead State University in Rowan, Kentucky. He identified three themes core to the Region’s future: economic diversification in Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities; the intersection between the Region’s drug crisis and economic development; and Appalachia’s entrepreneurial potential. "It’s not uncommon for our Region to recognize a need and begin to act upon it in advance of the rest of the country. Our Region is creating thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators, people with a passion for improving things and making new things," he told over 400 students, faculty, and community leaders. “There is a future in Appalachia, and it is your turn to shape it. So, take on the mantle of creative economic development..”


Map showing The TEAM Consortium focuses on strategic development of the shale and gas industry in 27 counties in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.
The TEAM Consortium focuses on strategic development of the shale and gas industry in 27 counties in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.

Tristate Energy and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Consortium Addresses Regional Shale Industry Growth

The Marcellus-Utica shale region spans Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much of the nation’s recent growth in shale and gas production is directly attributed to increased outputs in this area. In 2016, the area’s shale and gas industries employed over 39,000 people, generated $3.2 billion in wages, and is predicted to keep growing. As the industry expands, so do economic development opportunities.

To prepare for strategic and sustainable growth in the area’s shale and gas industries, the Governors of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio signed an agreement to focus on workforce training, economic development, and industry partnerships. Among the supporting activities was formation of the Tristate Energy and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Consortium, a network of nearly 50 organizations and partners from across the Marcellus-Utica region. This includes community colleges and other educational institutions, industry representation, local economic development leaders, and investment partners. This week, the TEAM Consortium met in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, to launch a multi-pronged tri-state workforce development initiative. The initiative is looking at ways to increase enrollment and graduation from education and training programs to provide a supply of skilled workers for energy and advanced manufacturing (E&AM) industries supporting shale and gas. The initiative’s first step is to align relevant curricula among higher education institutions in the three states to facilitate the creation of seamless pathways to jobs. The second is to provide the necessary online access to information and referrals to programs within E&AM, and the third builds on the success of outreach and engagement practices that raise awareness of, change perceptions about, and increase interest in pursuing occupations in targeted STEM manufacturing sectors. Working groups will focus specifically on education pathways, workforce and economic development, and private industry partnerships. 

The TEAM Consortium was one of 35 ARC POWER grants announced last week to help diversify and strengthen Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities. Additional support for this initiative is being provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and Chevron.


CLOSES TOMORROW: 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.


Study: Asheville 'Robust' for Entrepreneurs Citizen Times, Asheville, North Carolina

Grow Appalachia Empowers Families One Garden at a TimeRichmond Register, Richmond, Kentucky

Round Table Discussion Starts Dialogue About Changing Health and Healthcare in Eastern KentuckyWYMT, Hazard, Kentucky

New Round of Grants Will Help 'Coal Impacted' Communities in Southwestern PennsylvaniaTrib Live, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Appalachian Commission Awards $26M to Struggling Coal TownsAssociated Press


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

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

Community Colleges of Appalachia Fall Conference
Monaca, Pennsylvania
November 1–2

Allegany County Tourism Marketing Conference
Frostburg, Maryland
November 7

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

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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