Six SWVA projects receive ARC funding
More than $3.9 million in funding will go toward recovery health programs, broadband infrastructure expansion, workforce development, natural gas line improvements and rural tourism and job growth efforts in Southwest Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday.
The funding will be disbursed through six Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative grants.
“The Appalachian Regional Commission has long been a valuable partner in our efforts to build a strong and resilient economy and address the needs of our coal-impacted communities,” Northam said in a statement. “These investments will improve the lives of individuals in Appalachian Virginia by making critical infrastructure improvements, expanding access to broadband, helping people navigate the substance abuse recovery process, building a sustainable and thriving workforce and creating new opportunities for community and economic development.”
The following projects will receive ARC funding:
- Henry County, the Harvest Foundation and Southwest Virginia Gas Co. — $1.5 million for site improvements at Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre (CCBC). This will complete a steel natural gas pipeline from the Patriot Line to the CCBC and associated facilities.
- New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area Consortium Board in Radford — $1.494 million for the Pathways to a Strong and Healthy Region project. It will focus on gathering resources and services to support people suffering from substance abuse disorders.
- St. Mary’s Health Wagon (The Health Wagon) in Wise County — $793,500 for the Southwest Virginia Medication-Assisted Treatment Services Project. This will establish a substance abuse treatment program.
- LENOWISCO Planning District Commission — $50,000 for the Tri-State Broadband Infrastructure Feasibility Study. This will create a plan to establish a fiber-optic network in a 13-county region in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
- The Center for Rural Virginia — $39,755 for the Virginia Rural Leaders Institute (VRLI). This will focus on leadership development in rural communities.
- New River Valley Regional Commission — $32,940 for the New River Water Trail Expansion Strategic Plan. This project will focus on talent attraction, tourism and job growth around the New River.
ARC POWER is a congressionally funded program aimed at helping regions affected by job losses related to the coal industry. The projects announced Monday will attract $110 million in leveraged private investment and an $81.5 million match in public and private funds, according to Northam’s statement.
“From health care and infrastructure to community and workforce development, these projects have the ability to transform the economic landscape of Virginia’s Appalachian communities,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “This ARC funding goes hand in hand with the region’s goal to diversify its economy while creating vibrant communities with a high quality of life for residents and businesses alike.”