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.
Second Round of Funding for FY2024 – deadline: Nov. 7, 2023, at 12-noon
As a result of the availability of additional funding for the ARC Program, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), Federal Initiatives and Recreation (FIR) Division, will be opening a second cycle for project applications. All application documents along with a video of the FY 2024 ARC Application Workshop can be accessed here.
ELEVATE: Internships at ARC
The Appalachian Regional Commission is offering paid summer internship opportunities for students in Appalachian Alabama! Selected participants will spend six weeks in Washington, D.C. building networks, honing skills, and supporting projects contributing to Appalachian community and economic development.
Learn more and apply by February 29, 2024: www.arc.gov/elevate
Crystal G. Talley
Federal Initiatives and Recreation Division Chief
Leslie M. Clark
Federal Initiatives and Recreation Unit Chief