Governor Lee will work alongside ARC’s Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin and fellow Appalachian state governors to boost economic and community growth across the 13-state region.
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 3, 2024—Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has been elected by his fellow Appalachian governors to serve as the 2024 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) states’ co-chair. As part of ARC’s unique federal-state partnership structure, the states’ co-chair works collaboratively with the ARC federal co-chair and fellow Appalachian state governors to invest in economic and community growth across the region’s 423 counties in 13 states. In addition to advancing ARC investments across the region, the states’ co-chair also hosts ARC’s annual conference.
Governor Lee will serve as ARC’s 71st states’ co-chair and the first from Tennessee since 2016, making him the seventh Tennessean since 1965 to hold the position.
“Governors are reminding the nation that community investment and economic development move America forward, and I’m honored to serve alongside Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin as the State’s Co-Chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission,” said Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee. “Together, we will continue investing in projects that expand opportunity, security and freedom for all.”
“I extend a warm welcome to Governor Bill Lee as he steps into the role of ARC’s 2024 States’ Co-Chair. I look forward to working with him and all our Appalachian governors as we continue to collaborate not as 13 individual states, but as one united Appalachian region for the betterment of our residents,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “On behalf of the Commission, I also want to thank Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear for his work in advancing economic opportunities in Appalachia while dealing with the devastating disaster of historic flooding in Kentucky during his tenure as the 2023 States’ Co-Chair.”
In FY 2023, ARC invested over $322 million in 701 projects throughout the region, which attracted an additional $3.13 billion in private investments. The projects ARC funded in FY 2023 are projected to create or retain over 50,000 jobs, and provide training to nearly 50,000 students, workers, and leaders for new opportunities in emerging sectors across the Appalachian region. In addition, a new evaluation of ARC’s business development projects between 2017-2021 found that ARC investments created over 14,500 jobs and 1,944 new businesses during that timeframe.
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.