Funder Spotlight: Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

Funder Spotlight: Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

March 10, 2022

North Carolina is home to a number of funding institutions supporting economic development and related strategies necessary for economic growth. As a result of Golden LEAF’s strategic plan, one of the five strategic priorities is to have, and be recognized for, excellence in organizational collaboration, innovation, and impact. To help address this goal, a spotlight on North Carolina funders will be included in the Golden LEAF Newsletter at the beginning of each month as a resource for our readers.

Located in Washington, D.C., and in partnership with the N.C. Department of Commerce, the Appalachian Regional Commission’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. ARC’s vision is that Appalachia is a region of great opportunity that will achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

In North Carolina, ARC serves Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey counties.

ARC has five focus areas:

Goal 1: Building Appalachian Businesses: Strengthen and diversify the Region’s economy through inclusive economic development strategies and investments in entrepreneurship and business development.

Goal 2: Building Appalachia’s Workforce Ecosystem: Expand and strengthen community systems (education, healthcare, housing, childcare, and others) that help Appalachians obtain a job, stay on the job, and advance along a financially sustaining career pathway.

Goal 3: Building Appalachia’s Infrastructure: Ensure that the residents and businesses of Appalachia have access to reliable, affordable, resilient, and energy efficient utilities and infrastructure in order to successfully live and work in the Region.

Goal 4: Building Regional Culture and Tourism: Strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by preserving and investing in the Region’s local cultural heritage and natural assets.

Goal 5: Building Community Leaders and Capacity: Invest in the capacity of local leaders, organizations, and communities to address local challenges by providing technical assistance and support to access resources, engage partners, identify strategies and tactics, and conduct effective planning and project execution.

Program: Area Development Program
ARC’s annual Area Development program relies on a flexible “bottom up” approach to economic development, empowering Appalachian communities to work with their state governments to design impactful investment opportunities supporting our mission and investment priorities. All ARC Area Development grant proposals originate at the state level in consultation with the ARC state program manager. Pre-Development Applications are available March 1st, and the deadline to submit pre-development applications is April 18, 2022.
Contact: Olivia Collier, Director – Appalachian Regional Commission Program, [email protected]
Deadline: April 18, 2022

Program: POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative
This is a multi-state competitive grant program intended to target federal resources to initiate economic revitalization and diversification in communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries. The focus of ARC’s POWER Initiative for FY 2022 will remain on investments that are regional, strategic, and focused on the economic revitalization of coal impacted communities and regions.
Contact: Braedon Koerwitz, Program Coordinator, [email protected]
Deadlines: Letter of intent: April 4, 2022 / Proposal: April 29, 2022

Program: INvestments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative
This initiative seeks to address the substance use disorder crisis by creating or expanding a recovery ecosystem that will lead to workforce entry or re-entry. Successful projects will support the post-treatment to employment continuum, which could include investments in healthcare networks that support substance use disorder recovery professionals, recovery-focused job training programs, as well as initiatives designed to coordinate, or link, recovery services and workforce training that support the recovery ecosystem, among others.
Contact: Lauren Wood, Program Analyst, [email protected]
Deadline: March 24, 2022

Other Opportunities:

The Appalachian Regional Commission offers several academies and institutes throughout the year. These academies and institutes are intended to provide opportunities for individuals living in Appalachia access to programs in a variety of fields including STEM education, entrepreneurship development, applied research, and community leadership. These opportunities are available for both students (middle school, high school, and college) as well as adults, including teachers. Through these experiential learning opportunities, participants build networks, hone skills, and cultivate an enduring commitment to Appalachia’s future.

What is the best way for potential applicants to learn more about ARC and its programs?

The ARC website and the NC ARC Program, which is administered under the N.C. Department of Commerce website, contain valuable information regarding ARC and the available programs.

Staff contacts for the NC ARC Program can be found by clicking here.

Furthermore, ARC relies on a strong partnership with the Local Development Districts (or Councils of Governments) for project development. The LDDs are an active and critical part of the ARC partnership and local governments are encouraged to collaborate with the LDDs during project development and for technical assistance.

Click here sign-up to receive updates from ARC, including In The Region, a weekly roundup of Appalachian economic development news and events, and ARC press releases.

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