ARC Seeking Applicants for No-cost Leadership Development Program for Appalachian Community Leaders

Public, private, and nonprofit leaders throughout Appalachia are encouraged to apply for ARC’s free nine-month training program.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10, 2024—Today, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) opened applications for the sixth class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute (ALI), a nine-month leadership development training opportunity with a focus on economic development in Appalachia. Anyone living or working in Appalachia’s 423 counties is eligible to apply.

The program, at no cost to participants, focuses on skill-building, mentoring and networking. By equipping participants with knowledge and support, ARC aims to build a stronger future for Appalachia.

The curriculum comprises six multi-day seminars across the Appalachian region, each focusing on one of ARC’s investment priorities, and concludes with a graduation ceremony in Washington, D.C.

From October 2024 to July 2025, the sixth cohort of fellows will learn to:

  • Identify and implement strategies to strengthen their communities.
  • Collaborate with a network of leaders across Appalachia.
  • Recognize and utilize unique assets in their communities to build economic development plans.
  • Appreciate the diversity and shared experiences of Appalachians.

“I’m encouraged by the way ARC’s Appalachian Leadership Institute helps prepare our region’s leaders to make lasting impacts on their communities,” said ARC’s Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Collaboration is the key to ensuring a prosperous future for our 13 states, and I encourage our region’s changemakers to apply to be part of the camaraderie, insight and training of our sixth ALI class.”

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is limited to 40 fellows each year, with participants from each of the 13 states in Appalachia. Applicants may be from the public, private or non-profit sectors, and each class represents a wide network of experiences to reflect Appalachian diversity.

“I am proud to partner with ARC to welcome new applicants to the Appalachian Leadership Institute,” ARC’s 2024 States’ Co-Chair, Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee. “This program allows leaders from across the Region to develop their skills, better understand Appalachia and build professional networks. Tennessee’s ALI graduates have made significant impacts on our state, and we are looking forward to working with the next group of leaders that complete this program.”

Upon completion of the program, fellows automatically join the ALI Alumni Network, a peer-to-peer working group committed to collaborative solutions that strengthen Appalachia. Regular alumni events provide an opportunity to stay connected to the network of nearly 200 ALI alumni and to continue learning from leaders in Appalachian development.

Applications for the 2024-2025 class are open through June 1, 2024. To learn more about the program and apply, visit:

About the Appalachian Leadership Institute
The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. School for Public Policy and Public Affairs; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. The current class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute includes representatives from a variety of sectors and industries such as education, health care, economic development, public service, and other professions.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 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.