New data shows that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) invested $125.6 million in 522 economic development projects during FY 2018. These region wide investments will be matched by $188.7 million and will attract an additional $1.5 billion in leveraged private investment (LPI) into Appalachia. In addition, these investments are projected to create or retain 26,600 jobs, as well as train or educate 34.000 students and workers.
ARC also released state-specific fact sheets summarizing ARC’s direct investments, as well as the matching funds attracted and leveraged private investment dollars generated by these investments, for each of the 13 Appalachian states. The fact sheets also offer estimates of the number of jobs expected to be created or retained and the numbers of students and/or workers expected to be trained as a result of these state-specific investments. Additionally, the sheets detail the percentage of ARC’s investments distributed to counties and areas considered economically distressed and offer examples of ARC “investments in action” in each state.
“The Appalachian Regional Commission has been a partner in our work since our inception,” said Jared Arnett, executive director of Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR). “The Commission continues to strategically invest funding in projects that drive innovation and promote regional collaboration. We are very thankful for their work, as well as that of the Department of Local Government.”
The ARC, in collaboration with the state Department of Local Government, supported 44 projects in the state totaling over $24.4 million in fiscal year 2018. These investments were matched by more than $24.2 million, are projected to attract an additional $13.4 million in private investments and will create or retain 340 jobs.
“Each one of these projects, and their projected outcomes, is a direct result of ARC’s flexible, nimble, and successful federal-state partnership model,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas. “These investments will make a difference in Appalachia.”
The investment overview complements ARC’s FY 2018 Performance and Accountability Report, a review of the Commission’s regional investments and activities submitted to the Office of Management and Budget. ARC’s FY 2018 data was presented at ARC’s February 24 Commission Quorum Meeting, held in conjunction with the 2019 National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. Per ARC statute, the ARC Federal Co-Chair and a quorum of governors representing the Appalachian states are required to meet annually to review the Commission’s operations and activities.
The Commission Quorum Meeting was co-hosted by ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, who is serving as ARC’s 66th States’ Co-Chair throughout 2019.
“Investments in our country’s Appalachian Region have created good paying jobs, strengthened our workforce, and helped our rural communities grow stronger.,” said Governor Cooper. “I look forward to working with ARC to find innovative ways to expand those economic opportunities.”
ARC investments are made in partnership with the governors of each of the Region’s 13 states and in accordance with the investment goals outlined in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Five-Year Strategic Plan for Capitalizing on Appalachia’s Opportunities, 2016–2020.