Appalachian Regional Commission


Map of ARC Counties

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.



POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative

Appalachian Regional Commission has issued a Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. POWER investments help create economic growth and diversification in Appalachian communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries. Since 2015, ARC has invested nearly $368.1 million in 449 projects touching 360 counties across Appalachia through the POWER initiative.

Applications are due by 5:00 P.M. EST on April 17, 2024.


Appalachian Gateways Community Initiative (AGCI)

The Appalachian Gateways Community Initiative (AGCI) – a partnership between ARC, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Conservation Fund – has selected the following seven teams for its workshop on April 16-18, 2024 in Decatur, Alabama:

  1. Buckeye Hills, Ohio 
  2. Deep Gap, North Carolina 
  3. I-22 Region, Alabama 
  4. Little River, Alabama 
  5. Murray County, Georgia 
  6. Patrick County, Virginia
  7. Waverly-Piketon, Ohio 


Appalachian Leadership Institute

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive leadership and economic development training opportunity for people who live and/or work in Appalachia and are passionate about helping their communities thrive. The all-inclusive, nine-month program runs from October-July and includes skill-building seminars, best practice reviews, and site visits across the region. The Appalachian Leadership Institute is limited to 40 Fellows annually, drawn from the public, private, and non-profit sectors in all 13 Appalachian states. Participation in this program will empower Fellows to take action toward positively impacting the future of Appalachia with collaborative solutions to our Region’s greatest challenges. Learn more and apply here.

Deadline: June 1, 2024


U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities (WORC) Initiative

WORC grants awarded by DOL range in size from $150,000 to $1.5 million, will fund projects to provide career training and supportive services to workers who live or work in ARC, Delta Regional Authority (DRA), Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC), regions to help them secure good-paying, stable jobs in high-demand occupations. WORC grants are intended to promote economic mobility; address historic inequities in marginalized communities, including people of color, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities; and produce high-quality employment outcomes enabling workers to remain and thrive in these communities.

Deadline: June 20, 2024

DOL Announcement Round 6 FOA

ARC’s role



Crystal G. Talley
Federal Initiatives and Recreation Division Chief
(334) 353-2630

Leslie M. Clark
Federal Initiatives and Recreation Unit Chief
(334) 353-2909