Appalachian Regional Commission Invests $26 Million in Appalachia’s Economic Future

31 Awards Will Create or Retain More Than 2,500 Jobs and Train More Than 7,300 Workers in Coal-Impacted Communities Across 5 Appalachian States

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2017—Today, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced $26 million to expand and diversify the economy in coal-impacted communities in 5 Appalachian states. These 31 awards are projected to train more than 7,300 workers and students impacted by the changing coal economy in certificate, credentialing, and other workforce development programs. They will also create or retain more than 2,500 jobs, leverage an additional $31 million from public and private investors, and create a more vibrant economic future for Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities.

“These investments capitalize on the growing momentum for a diverse economy in Appalachia,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl. “They are strategic, collaborative, and impactful projects making the Region more competitive in technology, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, broadband, health, and a variety of other sectors.”

Today’s announcement builds on the $47 million ARC has invested since 2015 specifically to diversify the economy in the Region’s coal-impacted communities through the POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. The POWER Initiative is a congressionally funded, multi-agency strategy bringing federal resources directly to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economic of America’s energy production. With today’s announcement, ARC’s dedicated funding for economic diversity in the Region’s coal-impacted communities is projected to create or retain more than 6,500 jobs and leverage an additional $132 million into the Region.

A summary of today’s announced awards, as well as more information about ARC’s work in diversifying the economy in the Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities, is available at

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission ( 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.

Updated January 25, 2017, to reflect corrected data.