The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a unique federal-state partnership providing social and economic support for a 13-state region stretching along the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi.

Established by the United States Congress in 1965, when Appalachia was considered "a region apart" from the rest of the nation, ARC has worked to bring Appalachia's 22 million people into America's economic mainstream

ARC supports economic development activities in 29 North Carolina counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey counties.

Investment Priorities

Investment Priorities

Each year ARC provides funding for projects throughout the Appalachian Region of North Carolina. Projects approved for ARC assistance must support one of the five general goals.

Goal 1: Economic Opportunities: Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia's economy.

Goal 2: Ready Workforce: Improve the education, knowledge, skills, and health of residents to work and succeed in Appalachia.

Goal 3: Critical Infrastructure: Invest in critical infrastructure—especially broadband; transportation, including the Appalachian Development Highway System; and water/wastewater systems.

Goal 4: Natural and Cultural Assets: Strengthen Appalachia's community and economic development potential by leveraging the Region's natural and cultural heritage assets.

Goal 5: Leadership and Community Capacity: Build the capacity and skills of current and next-generation leaders and organizations to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development.

Eligible applicants are public entities (cities, towns, counties, regions, public service districts) and nonprofit organizations.

 

Contact Information

Contact Information

For additional information about the ARC program, please contact:

Olivia Collier - ARC Program Manager - (919) 814-4656 or ocollier@nccommerce.com
Olivia is the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Program Manager for North Carolina, a federal program that provides economic development assistance to Appalachia based on the Governor’s priorities. She has held this position since January of 2007.  Olivia manages the day to day operations of the State’s ARC program. As program manager, her primary responsibilities are to ensure that the Governor’s priorities in Appalachia are being achieved and to ensure ARC resources are being deployed to assist in critical economic development challenges in the eligible ARC communities in Western North Carolina.  As the ARC Program Manager, she has witnessed the remarkable effect that the ARC program has had in the 29 eligible Western North Carolina counties.  During her tenure, the ARC program in North Carolina has awarded over $70 million to over 365 projects, leveraging an additional $115 million in other funding sources.  The approved projects have created and retained thousands of jobs, assisted families with early childhood education and access to affordable healthcare, and provided workforce skill training programs for numerous communities. Prior to her current role, Olivia worked with the Community Development Block Grant Program ensuring that all grantees comply with applicable federal requirements. She also served as the Public Information Officer for the Division of Community Assistance for two years. Olivia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Master’s in Public Administration from East Carolina University. She has served on the New Generations Advisory Council and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Rural Health Task Force.

David McRae - ARC Grants Specialist - (919) 814-4672 or david.mcrae@nccommerce.com
David is the ARC Grants Specialist for North Carolina’s Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) program. His primary role is assisting eligible communities and organizations in Western North Carolina apply for ARC POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative funding. Through this initiative David helps communities develop projects that maximize economic revitalization focusing on building a competitive workforce, fostering entrepreneurial activities, developing industry clusters, substance abuse response, and broadband deployment. He also assists NC ARC staff on other ARC initiatives within North Carolina. Prior to his current role, David worked in local government for Harnett County Development Services and Sanford/Lee County Planning and Community Development. David earned his BS in Urban & Regional Planning from East Carolina University and his MA in Appalachian Studies, Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University.

Ann Bass - ARC Community Development Planner, Western Region - (828) 508-0107 or ann.bass@nccommerce.com
Ann serves the far western region of NC providing community and economic development assistance to communities, local governments and regional organizations. Assistance takes the form of networking resources, technical assistance and research, project and program development, strategic planning for economies or economic sectors, downtown revitalization and placemaking.  She is based in Sylva and has served in this position since March of 2017.  Throughout her career Ann has had experience gluing electronic encoders, landscaping, managing park construction, planning multi-use recreational trails, master planning state parks, serving as a private planning and urban design consultant, programming and designing public spaces nationally and internationally with the Project for Public Spaces, doing downtown and Main Street development, starting and managing not-for-profit economic development organizations in the White Carpathian mountains of the Czech Republic, Yadkin Pee Dee Lakes region of NC and in the Town of Siler City.  Her primary passion is for creating places we want to live in but she also has special interest in entrepreneurship and economic sector development—building out value chains using local assets and incremental investment to grow sustainable local economies.

Kyle Case - ARC Community Economic Development Planner, Northwest Region - (984) 275-5209 or kyle.case@nccommerce.com
Kyle serves the northwest region of NC providing community and economic development assistance to communities, local governments, and regional organizations. Assistance takes the form of networking resources, technical assistance and research, project and program development, strategic planning for economies or economic sectors, downtown revitalization and placemaking.  He is based in Morganton and has served in this position since September of 2020.  Previously, Kyle worked as the Main Street Program Coordinator for the City of Lenoir where he enjoyed being a part of downtown revitalization efforts in his hometown.  He also has experience in hospitality management, real estate, and small-scale agriculture.  Kyle earned his BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and his Master’s in Public Administration from Appalachian State University.

 

Documents Oak Ridge Summer Institute

Oak Ridge Summer Institute

The Appalachian Regional Commission is pleased to announce that it is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to provide two residential, hands-on  learning institutes focusing on math, science, and technology for high school students and teachers (June 19 - July 2, 2021) and for middle school students  (June 26 -July 2, 2021).  Applications are due on March 1, 2021.

ORNL is one of the largest U.S. Department of Energy research facilities in the United States. It is devoted to multi-purpose research and development and is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, near the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park. ORNL is a U.S. Department of Energy facility managed by UT-Batelle. ORAU, a consortium on major universities, cultivates collaborative partnerships that enhance the scientific research and education enterprise of our nation.

The ARC/ORNL/ORAU Summer Science Academy for middle school students and ARC/ORNL Institute for high school students is a unique opportunity for students to work with research scientists on relevant math and scientific topics facing the world in the 21st century. Middle school students, in the one week academy, and high school students and teachers, in the two week institute, work in teams on research projects during with each team comprising three to six students in the middle school academy and three to six students and teachers in the high school institute. The team approach provides an opportunity to conduct research activities and solve problems in a group setting. Research topics and activities may include such areas as biofuels and alternative energy.

High school students and teachers work with research scientists on relevant math and scientific topics facing the world in the 21st century. Students and teachers work in teams on research projects during the two-week institute, with each team comprising three to six students or teachers. The team approach provides an opportunity to conduct research activities and solve problems in a group setting.

Students work in teams on research projects during the one-week academy, with each team comprising three to six students. The team approach provides an opportunity to conduct research activities and solve problems in a group setting. Research topics and activities may include such areas as biofuels and alternative energy. Interested parties can view examples of the research and other activities engaged in during previous summer science camps at the SummerSTEM website.

The participants will be housed at a hotel in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, near ORNL and ORAU facilities. Student participants will be chaperoned 24-hours a day by experienced teachers. Teachers selected to participate in the high school program will not be responsible for chaperoning students.

All major expenses, including meals, lodging, transportation to and from the participant’s home base and local transportation, will be covered for participants. Teacher participants will receive a stipend.

Participants will tour or spend days in ORNL research facilities, use a variety of technologies to solve problems in ORAU’s learning center, and participate in field trips to nearby industries, universities, and museums. Field trips will illustrate the applications of math and science in the real world and provide participants with opportunities to learn more about Appalachia and its unique characteristics. 

To start the application process, please visit the program's website

 

 

POWER Program

POWER Program

Program Description

The POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.

The POWER Initiative supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and re-employment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment.

Although North Carolina has no active coal mining operations within the state, the NC Department of Commerce commissioned an economic study which uncovered negative economic impacts to the state caused by job losses in coal-fired power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. Our staff can assist prospective applicants appropriately address this portion of the grant application requirements. The report can be found at:

https://files.nc.gov/nccommerce/documents/Rural-Development-Division/Rural/ARC/OtherARC/NC-Coal-Impact-Final-Report.pdf

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the ARC’s POWER 2021 grant cycle was released on January 14, 2021. We invite you to review the RFP and consider applying, or forward to any local government or non-profit organization that may be interested. The RFP and associated documents can be found at:

https://www.arc.gov/arcs-power-initiative/

POWER Initiative grant application are due April 16, 2021 (5 PM ET)

Interested applicants can receive virtual, technical assistance through Understanding POWER 2021: An Application Workshop at 11:00am EST on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. This session will update interested applicants on the POWER 2021 RFP and provide tips for a well-rounded application. Shortly after this session, registrants will receive links to seven prerecorded training videos, and will then have the opportunity to ask questions of ARC staff during a live Question & Answer Session on Thursday, February 25 at 11:00 am EST.

Understanding POWER 2021 and the live Question & Answer Session are free to attend, although registration is required by 5:00pm EST on Friday, January 29, 2021.  

NC POWER Contact:

David McRae, ARC Grants Specialist
North Carolina Department of Commerce
984-365-0853    mobile
david.mcrae@nccommerce.com

 

Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy

Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy

Program Description 


The Appalachian Regional Commission is accepting applications for the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This program is a free immersive learning experience specifically for rising seniors from the Region which will be held in two phases - one virtual and one in-person. 

The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA), will be held virtually June 12-30, 2021 and then in person in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 6-31, 2021, will support youth entrepreneurship and innovation across Appalachia. This new residential program, designed specifically for high school students enrolled in their senior year during the 2021-2022 school year, includes a curriculum focusing on mentorship from leading entrepreneurs and businesses in the Pittsburgh area, skill building, access to soft and hardware maker spaces, and connections to the ARC’s larger regional network. Throughout AEA, students will develop their own ideas and innovations in a team format and pitch their final ideas to their peers, business leaders, and investors for a chance to win seed funding. As part of AEA, all expenses associated with participation, including room and board and transportation are covered.

Students enrolled in AEA will also receive a stipend during the tenure of the program. The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy is sponsored by ARC and is made possible by the Institute for Educational Leadership. More information and application materials for the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy are available at https://www.arc.gov/appalachian-entrepreneurship-academy/. Applications for AEA are due March 1, 2021.

 

 

 

Partners

Partners

The North Carolina ARC program collaborates with many federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities in the Appalachian region of the state. See below for links to partners' websites.

Federal Agencies

Non-profit Organizations

North Carolina Agencies

North Carolina Regional Councils

Public Universities in NC's Appalachian Region

Application Workshop

Application Workshop

Workshop information is not available at this time. Please check back for more information.