HomeFrom the MayorAppalachian Regional Commission – July 19, 2018

Appalachian Regional Commission – July 19, 2018

ARC NEWS ROUNDUP  |  July 19, 2018  |  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 28


During their visit to Lincoln Memorial University’s DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center in Ewing, Virginia, ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas, right, and ARC Executive Director Scott Hamilton, left, got a chance to see life-sized simulated farm animals used to help train veterinarian students.

Federal Co-Chair Thomas Continues Regional Tour in Central Appalachia

As part of his ongoing regional tour, ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas visited ARC investments in southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee. In Virginia, Thomas met with a variety of organizations leveraging local assets into economic opportunities including: representatives from Friends of Southwest Virginia who are developing a robust tourism industry around the area’s natural and cultural assets; leaders from the Appalachian Sustainable Development who are building integrated local foods distribution network throughout Central Appalachia; and administrators from the University of Virginia at Wise who are expanding leadership training capacity. While in Tennessee, Thomas’ itinerary included stops in Erwin and Sevierville to learn about local infrastructure investments in broadband, water and sewer. He also visited the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, a business accelerator part of the Launch Tennessee network, which provides coaching, business learning exercises through an entrepreneurship curriculum, one-on-one mentoring, and “pitch” preparation.

Thomas also made a visit to Lincoln Memorial University’s (LMU) DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center in Ewing, Virginia. In 2015, ARC support helped the new school purchase equipment including life-sized simulated farm animals, diagnostic machines, and laboratory supplies for large and small animal Veterinary Medicine students. More recently, ARC has invested in the new Veterinary Medical Education Building on LMU’s Harrogate, Tennessee, campus, with state-of-the-art instructional technology, including digital video media, video conferencing capabilities, and an electronic simulation control system.


SOAR celebrates Appalachia’s Future

Founded in 2013, Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) is committed to expanding job creation, enhancing regional opportunity, innovation, and identity, improving the quality of life, and supporting those working to achieve similar goals in Eastern Kentucky, through collaboration. SOAR is a key partner on many ARC-funded projects. One great example is a recent POWERgrant to Morehead State University for the next phase of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (SOAR STEM) project. The project’s goal is to develop a highly skilled STEM workforce that can foster job growth and business expansion in an area that has experienced major job losses because of the decline in coal. The program will train over 80 teachers and impact 20,000 students over the first three years of implementation.

Earlier this year, SOAR launched its “There is a Future” campaign as a platform to share a new narrative for Appalachia Kentucky. The upcoming annual SOAR Summit, on August 30-31, will showcase this new campaign and feature inspiring keynote speakers who promote innovation and collaboration, economic and community development, and the alignment of the region’s work with the Blueprint for a 21st Century Appalachia, a visionary plan for Appalachia Kentucky that was created through the input of thousands of people from across the region. Early-bird registration for the SOAR Summit ends tomorrow, July 20th.


The University of Tennessee and ARC are currently conducting a region-wide study of Appalachian tourism. The study, to be completed early next year, is one of the largest research projects ever conducted on this expanding Appalachian industry. Results from the survey will help tourism officials and vendors improve visitor experiences. They will also help ARC determine new priorities and evaluation methods. As part of this study, the research team has developed a survey for visitors to the Appalachian Region. The survey, which takes about 5 minutes to complete, includes questions related to travel preferences, travel planning, and regional perceptions. Please help the effort by taking the survey at



McDowell LINC graduates can become Homegrown LeadersMcDowell News, Marion, North Carolina

RCBI, Southern to host open houses in Williamson, WelchWilliamson Daily News, Williamson, West Virginia

SKCTC to hold soft skills training in MiddlesboroHarlan Daily Enterprise, Harlan, Kentucky

Spartanburg Community College gets Industry 4.0 grantGSA Business Report, Greenville, South Carolina

Commission approves contact on drainage projectTimes Daily, Florence, Alabama


ARC invites proposals from qualified researchers and consultants to conduct a large-scale program evaluation of approximately 385 water and wastewater infrastructure projects funded by the Commission in the Appalachian Region between fiscal years 2009 and 2016. The evaluation will determine the extent to which these projects have succeeded in achieving ARC’s strategic goals; inform ARC of ways to better encourage innovation as well as develop, assess, and manage water and wastewater infrastructure projects; and enhance ARC’s ability to document and report program impacts. Proposals are due by August 10, 2018.

Learn more and download the RFP here.


Mined Land Reforestation Conference
Indiana, Pennsylvania
August 8-9

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Opportunities Conference
Fairhope, Alabama
August 21-23

SOAR Summit 2018
Pikeville, Kentucky
August 30-31

Appalachia Works: ARC Annual Conference
Tupleo, Mississippi
September 12-14

National Brownfields Leadership Summit
Washington, DC
September 25-26

7th TransTech Energy (TTE) Business Development Conference
Canonsburg, PA
October 23-24

Map of the Appalachian Region
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.