Appalachian Regional Commission Issues Request for Proposals (RFP) for Economic Diversification Investments in Region’s Coal Impacted Economies

Funding Available via ARC’s POWER Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 14, 2021—Today, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) released a Request for Proposals for applications for the 2021 POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. POWER seeks to diversify economies in communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. ARC is making funds available through the POWER Initiative for regional investments to develop a competitive workforce, foster entrepreneurial activities, develop industry clusters, strengthen substance abuse response, and expand broadband in coal-impacted areas. Required Letters of Intent (due Friday, March 5 by 5:00 pm EST) should be submitted via this fillable PDF form to, and full applications (due Friday, April 16 by 5:00 pm EST) should be submitted online at beginning Tuesday, February 16.

“The POWER Initiative is a critical tool for communities with economies impacted by the changes in the coal market,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “I encourage eligible organizations and community leaders across the Appalachian Region to engage in ARC’s application workshops and apply for a POWER grant if they have a plan that can contribute to regional, transformative economic recovery and growth.”

Interested applicants can receive virtual, technical assistance through Understanding POWER 2021: An Application Workshop at 11:00am EST on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. This session will update interested applicants on the POWER 2021 RFP and provide tips for a well-rounded application. Shortly after this session, registrants will receive links to seven prerecorded training videos, and will then have the opportunity to ask questions of ARC staff during a live Question & Answer Session on Thursday, February 25 at 11:00 am EST.

Understanding POWER 2021 and the live Question & Answer Session are free to attend, although registration is required by 5:00pm EST on Friday, January 29, 2021. 

The 2021 POWER Request for Proposals (RFP), workshop details, and other information about ARC’s POWER Initiative are available at

Since 2015, ARC has invested over $238 million in 293 projects touching 353 counties across Appalachia through the POWER Initiative. Together, these investments are projected to create or retain more than 26,000 jobs, leverage more than $1.1 billion in additional private investment into Appalachia’s economy, and prepare tens of thousands of workers and students for opportunities in entrepreneurship, broadband development, tourism, and other industry sectors. POWER investments also support workforce-to-recovery and other comprehensive strategies to strengthen the Region’s Recovery Ecosystem. A recent evaluation report of ARC’s POWER Initiative, conducted by the third party evaluator Chamberlin & Dunn, found that economic development projects funded via ARC’s POWER Initiative met or exceeded targets for jobs retained and or created, businesses created, and revenues increased.

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.