Virginia Governor Ralph Northam – September

New grants will support entrepreneurship, workforce development and infrastructure

RICHMONDGovernor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia will receive more than $ 2.5 million in grants from the Opportunity and Workforce Partnership and Economic Revitalization (POWER) from the Appalachian Regional Commission ( BOW). The funding will support the expansion of broadband infrastructure, workforce development and employment growth efforts through economic development initiatives.

“As our economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, it is essential to invest in the Appalachians”, noted Governor Northam, RCA Co-Chair. “The ARC POWER initiative will continue to build on the region’s strengths and meet its challenges, driving growth and opportunity throughout Appalachia. These projects demonstrate how regional collaboration can drive innovation, encourage entrepreneurs, diversify our economy, and support the critical infrastructure needed to bridge the digital divide, which strengthens Appalachian communities.

In February, Governor Northam was elected by the 13 Appalachian Governors to serve as the State Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission for 2021.

ARC POWER Initiative is a congressional-funded program that helps communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mines, coal-fired power plants, and coal-related supply chain industries due to changing economics of American energy production. Funding of $ 46.4 million for 57 projects in 184 counties was made possible by the POWER initiative as part of efforts to support economic diversification in the Appalachian region.

“Ensuring that Appalachian residents and businesses have the resources to create thriving and strong communities has been a top priority for this administration.” said Secretary of Commerce and Commerce Brian Ball. “This funding will promote job opportunities, critical infrastructure upgrades and broadband expansion, helping to build a stronger and more resilient economy in the Appalachian region.

“The downturn in the coal industry has had an impact on the Appalachian economies. That’s why ARC’s POWER initiative is helping leverage regional partnerships and collaborations to support efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-affected communities, ” said Gayle Manchin, Federal RCA Co-Chair. “Many of the projects we announced today will invest in the education and training of the Appalachian workforce, entrepreneurship development and infrastructure support, including broadband access. These investments in our communities affected by Appalachian coal are essential to level the playing field in the economy so that our communities can prosper. “

ARC POWER Virginia 2021 Award Recipients:

Buchanan / Tazewell Wireless Jobs Growth Corridor | Virginia Coalfield Coalition | $ 1,000,000
The Virginia Coalfield Coalition will build six new fiber-lit cell phone towers along a 20-mile stretch off US Highway 460. A public-private partnership with a national wireless service ensures that the coverage provided by these new Cell phone towers will fill the current service gaps. . The project is expected to serve 25 existing businesses and facilitate the retention and recruitment of businesses in industrial parks in the region.

Central Appalachian CDC: Bringing Community Development Investments to Coal-Affected Communities | Community capital of the Appalachians | $ 1,500,000
Appalachian Community Capital and its partners will create high-quality community and entrepreneurial development opportunities by helping communities and businesses access new sources of capital. Serving five central Appalachian states (North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia), the project will provide 40 coal-affected communities with technical assistance, advice and local support. This will lead to a portfolio of investments offering sufficient financial and social returns. Financial support for the project will be provided by the CDFI Fund of the US Department of the Treasury, the Dogwood Health Trust, Goldman Sachs and OhioSE Economic Development Financial. The project is expected to create 15 businesses and 3,000 jobs, while mobilizing $ 400 million in private investment.

Project trace | LENOWISCO Development Area | $ 49,875
The LENOWISCO Planning District, in partnership with Invest SWVA, will determine the feasibility of adapting or creating an agricultural technology tool to track and report food miles of specialty grains grown in southwest Virginia. This tool will help capture the value Southwest Virginia grains add to the industry, increasing grain market opportunities for area farmers and generating additional income.

Created in 1965, the ARC is a federal agency focused on the economic development of the Appalachian region. The grants administered by the ARC support initiatives that build a strong and sustainable asset-based economy in Appalachia. Funding for these projects serves as a catalyst to create jobs and prosperity in communities across the region.

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