ARC Welcomes New Federal Co-Chair, Tim Thomas
“There is no reason to think that the next great entrepreneur couldn’t come from Appalachia,” said Tim Thomas upon taking up his new position as ARC’s twelfth Federal Co-Chair. “Most jobs in the US come from small businesses. With additional assistance, like training and access to capital, these businesses can thrive in Appalachia.”
Nominated by President Donald Trump to represent the administration in ARC’s federal-state partnership model, Thomas brings more than 20 years’ experience working in Kentucky’s public and private sectors on public infrastructure, workforce training, and regulatory issues. He most recently served on U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s state staff from 2015 to 2018. In that role, Thomas fostered deep partnerships with state and local officials, community leaders, and constituent groups to support economic and community development initiatives. Immediately preceding that post, Thomas was the director of external and regulatory affairs for Swift & Staley, a Kentucky-based maintenance, operations, and environmental services company that included federal and state agencies among its clients, such as the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture.
Small business and entrepreneurship development is one of the major themes Thomas has identified as key to ARC’s mission to innovate, partner and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia. Other focus areas include helping the region economically adapt as the nation decreases its reliance on coal and addressing the region’s opioid and drug crisis. “Appalachia’s challenges are constantly changing and evolving,” said Thomas. “ARC’s flexible and nimble structure helps communities across the Region meet these challenges as they come.”