Virginia receives $4.2 million in grants from Appalachian Regional Commission
Virginia has received six grants totaling $4.2 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission's Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce Revitalization (POWER) program, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday. The grants will support efforts including broadband and solar power expansion, workforce development and water systems improvements.
A congressionally funded initiative, the POWER program helps communities and regions that were formerly economically dependent on coal. The Virginia grants were part of $44.4 million in awards to 54 projects across 13 states in the Appalachian Regional Commission region.
“POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian region as they diversify economies, invest in growth-oriented infrastructure, train a next-generation workforce and ingrain resiliency and hope into their local fabric,” ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas said in a statement. “Projects like this help ensure a prosperous future for Appalachia.”
The six funded Virginia projects are:
- The Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board will receive $1.5 million for its Recovery Opportunities and Pathways to Employment Success (ROPES) project, which aids people recovering from substance use disorders to find pathways to employment.
- BARC Electric Cooperative will receive $1 million to expand broadband in the Rockbridge County town of Goshen.
- Southwest Virginia Community College was awarded $588,072 to create a fast-track curriculum for training entry-level automobile technicians.
- The LENOWISCO Planning District Commission will receive $50,000 to fund research to identify technologies that can monitor and evaluate leaks in small, rural public water systems.
- Appalachian Voices was awarded $49,940 for a project aimed at growing the solar energy industry in Southwest Virginia.
- Appalchian Community Capital will receive $1.04 million for the Opportunity Appalachia Project, a program to attract investment dollars to federally designated Opportunity Zones in the region.