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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 20, 2018  |  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 37

ARC SPOTLIGHT

Keynote Panel
(L-R) Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi President Sean Suggs and international site selector Alexandra Segers, Principal at SSOE Group, discuss economic development opportunities in Appalachia with ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas and Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr., at ARC’s annual conference.

Appalachia Works: Expanding Opportunities for Our Region’s Future


The final day of ARC’s Annual Conference, Appalachia Works: Expanding Opportunities for our Region’s Future hosted by the State of Mississippi, featured a plenary discussion focusing on strategies to attract new businesses and opportunities into the Region. Moderated by Glenn McCullough, Jr,, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), the conversation included observations from Sean Suggs, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Mississippi and international site selector, Alexandra Segers, International Senior Account Executive and Principal at SSOE Group. The three discussed how a reliable workforce, robust infrastructure, and a good quality of life help make a community attractive for recruiting major manufacturers and businesses. However, as Suggs noted, “It’s the little things that make a difference upfront. At the end of the day, you have got to make it feel like home and that there is a long-term benefit to being there….you also have to do your research on the company to understand their future vision and mission. They need to understand that you aren’t just thinking about 2018, but that you have a long term, innovative road map that covers infrastructure, logistics, manpower, and all those things. The more long-term innovative thinking you can show, the more companies will be excited about considering your area.”
 
ARC Federal Co Chair Tim Thomas also addressed the group with a keynote speech. “We can change the narrative of Appalachia. Good things are happening,” he said to the more than 350 community leaders, developers, and practitioners in attendance. “We can continue to go forward and address whatever evolving challenges come our way. We will continue to improve the lives of the 25 million people who call Appalachia home…We have good reason to be optimistic,” he continued. “Because at the end of the day, it is your work and your ideas that will move us forward.”

 

INVESTMENTS IN ACTION

HBCUs in Appalachia
The 14 HBCUs in Appalachia are located in Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, and West Virginia

Celebrating #HBCUweek in Appalachia


The more than 100 national Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been celebrating September 16–22, 2018, as  #HBCUweek in partnership with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. For nearly three decades, ARC has been a working group member of the White House Initiative by representing the 14 HBCUs in Appalachia. These schools include Alabama's Tuskegee University, which was recently rated as one of the nation's top 20 HBCUs by US News And World Report. Tuskegee was also selected by ARC's Black History Program Committee as the most recent  institutional recipient of the Joseph L. Palmer Scholarship. This scholarship, named after a former ARC employee, is made available to a different HBCU each year and is designed to benefit students facing financial shortfalls.
 
West Virginia's  Bluefield State College (BSC) is another Appalachian HBCU. In 2017,  ARC invested $1.5 million in Bluefield State's Center of Excellence in Manufacturing Education (CEME) as part of the POWER Initiative to diversify the Region’s coal-impacted communities. At Bluefield State, the emphasis is on training displaced coal miners in manufacturing, welding, hydraulics, equipment maintenance, and other in-demand skills. The CEME offers an concentrated  "2+2 program," in which students can earn a  two-year associate’s degree in one of the engineering programs offered through BSC's School of Engineering Technology and Computer Science, and spend an additional two years in manufacturing  coursework to finish a bachelor's degree. The CEME also offers certificate programs designed to give non-degree seeking students mastery over a narrow subject area or topic.
 
The 12 additional HBCUs in the ARC footprint include institutions in Alabama and West Virginia, as well as schools in North Carolina and Mississippi. According to the U.S. Department of Education, these HBCUs award over 3,100 undergraduate degrees annually.
 

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

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.
 

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

ARC is recruiting for Director, Division of Business and Talent Investment. This new leadership position will manage plan, develop, and evaluate ARC investments in accordance with the agency's strategic plan. Learn more about this position and other job opportunities at ARC.
 

APPALACHIA IN THE NEWS

ARC Back in Mississippi: Tupelo Hosts Summit Focused on Work OpportunitiesDaily Journal, Tupelo, Mississippi

ARC Summit: Appalachian Economies Need Workforces Prepared for the Future100 Days in Appalachia, Morgantown, West Virginia

Rixford Water System Getting New Storage Tank, The Bradford Era, Bradford, Pennsylvania
 
The Whitewater Season Just Got Two Weeks Longer on Eastern Kentucky’s Russell Fork, Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Kentucky
 
Brandon Dennison: Huntington a Gateway of Opportunity for Appalachia (Op-Ed), The Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, West Virginia
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

National Brownfields Leadership Summit
Washington, DC
September 25–26

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

EntreEd Forum
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
September 28–30

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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