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 25, 2018  |  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 42


While in Georgia, ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas visited economic development projects in Hart, Elbert, Polk, Bartow, and Floyd counties.

Getting Around in Georgia

This week, ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas was in Appalachian Georgia to discuss a variety of economic development strategies at work. For instance, in Lavonia, Thomas and representatives of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), discussed how ongoing ARC investments in water infrastructure has helped the town develop the Gateway Project, a series of industrial parks housing a variety of companies. Lavonia’s location along Interstate 85 is 90 minutes from Atlanta and an hour from Greenville, South Carolina, making it a desirable location for manufacturers and other businesses looking to access wider markets. The first two phases of the Gateway Project has already brought in nearly 20 businesses representing more than 3,700 jobs. The third phase, which is currently under construction, is expected to attract another six businesses and 125 jobs.

In Hartwell, Thomas visited the site of an under-used former historic railroad depot. Using ARC support, the town plans to develop an arts and cultural district that will include the Hartwell Railroad Street Farmers Market, a music hall, theater, parks and small businesses. Meanwhile, in nearby Winder, ARC support is helping the Winder Housing Authority and other local partners develop a community kitchen, garden, and classrooms at the Wimberly Center for Community Development and purchase an abandoned school for the purposes of renovating it into a training center for local food education and production.

Expanded health care services, especially expanded access to dentistry, was the topic of conversation at Cedartown’s One Door Polk, a Federally Qualified Health Center. Last year, ARC funds helped purchase equipment and supplies for a new dental clinic. This project will initially create approximately five new jobs for dental professionals, with additional jobs expected as patient demand increases, and will generate important revenue for the clinic as more patients visit the facility for dental care. Dental services will be sustained through discounted fees paid directly from patients and by reimbursement from public and private insurance providers.  While at the clinic, Thomas, DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn, stakeholders and providers also discussed how the substance abuse epidemic was impacting their local community.


Katie Leonard, President and CEO of Johnson College (second from left) joined Congressman Matt Cartwright (center) and DCED’s Paul Macknosky to announce new investments in the College’s training programs.

Investing in Manufacturing Equipment, Investing in Pennsylvania’s Future

Pennsylvania’s current Appalachian Development Plan notes that manufacturing is one of the largest industry sectors in northeastern Pennsylvania--especially in the electronics, fabricated metal products, plastics and rubber, food, and chemical fields. Each of these specialties require workers with specific skills, experience, and expertise.

Recently, U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright joined leadership from the NEPA Alliance and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to announce nearly $77,000 in ARC support for equipment upgrades at Johnson College of Technology. The ARC grant, matched directly by Johnson College, will underwrite purchasing of twelve different “Training Systems” reflecting the latest developments in advanced manufacturing, electronic engineering, electrical construction and management, and welding. With these updates, Johnson College students will get the advanced skills training and experience expected by local employers. 

“Equipment is a major expense for technical colleges because it is critical that students learn on industry standard equipment that mirrors what they will use during their internships and on the job as new technicians,” said Katie Leonard, President and CEO of Johnson College. “Equipment in the classroom should not only mirror equipment of today, but institutions are always considering technology and learning tools to prepare them for the future as well. Industry depends on us for this.”

In 2018, Forbes ranked Johnson College of Technology as number ten on their list of top two-year trade schools in the nation. Other Appalachian trade schools making the list include Rosedale Tech (#11) and the Pittsburgh School of Aeronautics, which Forbes named the top two-year trade school in the country.


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.


Barriers to Rural Health Go Beyond Transportation, The Register-Herald, Pipestem, Kentucky
Conference Addresses Expanding Aerospace Footprint, Herald Dispatch, Huntington, West Virginia
ARC Grant Extends Aid Program for Appalachian ‘Social Enterprises,’ Athens News, Athens, Ohio
Grant to Help Support Workforce Training in Mississippi, WTVA, Tupelo, Mississippi
When ‘the Heartbeat’ Stops: Rural Schools Close as Opportunity and Residents Flee, Washington Post


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

Allegany County Tourism Marketing Conference
Frostburg, Maryland
November 7

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

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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