The Appalachian Regional Commission was established by Congress in 1965 to promote growth and to improve the quality of life in the thirteen Appalachian States. Thirty-seven of Alabama’s counties are included in the ARC region, and the local participation is facilitated by eight local development districts.
The development organization for the ARC program in Alabama functions within the Governor’s Office. Administration responsibilities for the development programs of the ARC are assigned by the Governor to the ADECA Director. As such, the Director serves as an Alternate State Member of the Commission.
ARC invests in activities that address at least one of five goals:
- Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies
- Increase the education, knowledge, skills, and health of residents
- Invest in critical infrastructure especially broadband, water/wastewater systems, and transportation including the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS)
- Leverage the region’s natural and cultural heritage assets
- Build the capacity and skills of current and next generation leaders and organizations.
ARC projects require a varying degree of match from 20 percent to 50 percent depending on the level of distress in the county.
ARC administers all non-construction projects, and construction projects are managed by a federal basic agency or the state.ARC grants jointly funded with CDBG projects are managed by the ADECA CDBG staff, stand-alone ARC construction projects with other federal funds are managed by the federal agency, and stand-alone construction projects without other federal funds are managed under contract by a consultant.
The ARC’s POWER (Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) program is a congressionally-funded initiative that provides resources to assist communities and regions adversely 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. POWER supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and re-employment opportunities, creating jobs, and attracting new sources of investment.
The Local Development Districts (LDDs) are our local partners and are an active and essential part of the ARC partnership. There are eight LDDs in Alabama’s Appalachian Region, and each LDD operates under a Board of Directors composed of elected representatives from the various local governments.
Alabama’s Appalachian Region includes the 37 northern-most counties. These counties are: Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston.
FY 2022 ARC Workshop
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will be conducting an application workshop for FY 2022 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funds. Due to public safety concerns regarding COVID-19, the workshop will be virtual and held on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.
Appalachia Nonprofit Resource Center
Applications for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Technical Assistance Program for nonprofit organizations are now being accepted for fall 2021 courses for Technical Assistance &Training for Nonprofits. This free Technical Assistance Program is open to all nonprofit organizations located in the ARC region, with a minimum annual operating budget of $100,000 and at least two full-time employees. Each organization may designate up to two individuals – either board or staff members – for participation. One of the designated participants must be the organization’s CEO/executive director. To be considered for participation in one of the training sessions, you must complete the online application by close of business (5:00pm EDT) on Friday, August 6, 2021. Please review the application information packet for more information. If you have any additional questions about the Appalachia Nonprofit Resource Center, the application or instructions, please contact nonprofitTA@arc.gov.
Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy
ARC’s Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA), developed in partnership with the Institute for Educational Leadership, prepares the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and thinkers. Chosen via a competitive application process, rising high school seniors from across the Appalachian Region are selected to participate in a learning experience designed to cultivate creativity and develop skills essential for entrepreneurial success. As part of the program, AEA students receive tech support, materials, and other resources to participate. At completion, students will receive a formal Certificate of Completion.
This year, up to 26 participants will meet virtually in two phases. Phase 1, which will run from June 14-25, 2021, will provide participants with an orientation retreat that includes an introduction to curriculum components, ideation and team formation, and teambuilding. Phase 2, which will be held from July 12-30, 2021, includes a Design Thinking workshop, mentorship and coaching, sessions with some of the Region’s entrepreneurs and thought leaders, and concludes with an elevator pitch event.
|Crystal G. Talley|
ARC Program Manager
ARC Program Supervisor