Federal Government Announces New $1 Billion Grant Program for Appalachian Region Economic Projects

by Jon Styf


The 13-state Appalachian Region Commission announced on Monday that it will be spending $1 billion over the next five years on a grant program called the Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies.

The spending was approved as part of the $1.2 trillion federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which became law in 2021.

The grants are designed to promote intrastate projects that support the Appalachian Region economies with some specific focuses, including supporting coal-impacted communities and supporting projects that address Substance Abuse Disorder and Recovery.

The region includes 423 counties across Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

“ARISE is an innovative program that will spur further economic recovery as we work together to navigate the challenges of the 21st century,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland. “The Appalachian region is full of untapped potential, and I am confident that ARISE is the jump start we need to increase economic opportunities for the millions of citizens throughout the region.”

The program is looking for proposals that “are strategic, impactful, collaborative, and sustainable” and that are “large-scale, regional economic transformation through multi-state collaborative projects across Appalachia.”

Project applications and approvals will be ongoing over the five-year period.

The projects are required to fulfill at least one of the five priorities: 1. building businesses, 2. building workforce ecosystems, 3. building infrastructure, 4. building regional culture and tourism, or 5. building leaders and community capacity.

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Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Styf is a reporter for The Center Square. 
Photo “Appalachian Mountains” by Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. CC BY 2.0.





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