Va. projects get $2.5 million from Appalachian Regional Commission
Commission's POWER Initiative to help with broadband, development and tech tool
The Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative is granting three Virginia projects a total of $2.5 million, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
“As our economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, it is critical to invest in Appalachia,” Northam said in a statement. “ARC’s POWER initiative will continue to build on the region’s strengths and address its challenges, driving growth and opportunity throughout Appalachia.”
The Virginia Coalfield Coalition Inc. is receiving $1 million for its Buchanan/Tazewell Wireless Communication Job Growth Corridor project, in which it will build six fiber-lit cell towers along a 20-mile stretch off U.S. Route 460. The project is expected to serve 25 existing businesses and help with business recruitment for industrial parks.
The POWER Initiative is granting Appalachian Community Capital $1.5 million for its Central Appalachian CDC: Bringing Community Development Investment to Coal-Impacted Communities project. The project will give 40 communities across Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia technical assistance, guidance and outreach support. It is expected to create 15 businesses and 3,000 jobs, while leveraging $400 million in private investment. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, the North Carolina-based Dogwood Health Trust, Goldman Sachs and Ohio Southeast Economic Development will provide financial support.
With $49,875, the LENOWISCO Planning District, in partnership with InvestSWVA, will lead Project Trace, determining the feasibility of creating an agriculture-technology tool to track and report food miles — the distance food travels from where it is grown to where it is consumed — of speciality grains grown in Southwest Virginia.
Established in 1965, the Appalachian Regional Commission is a federal agency focused on economic development in the Appalachian region. The POWER Initiative helps communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining and power.