HomeFrom the MayorAppalachian Regional Commission – May 3, 2018

Appalachian Regional Commission – May 3, 2018

In the Region: A weekly snapshot of news, announcements, and other tidbits from the Appalachian Regional Commission
ARC NEWS ROUNDUP  |  May 3, 2018  |  VOLUME 3, ISSUE 18


ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas tests equipment at University of Pikeville’s Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) during a recent visit. 

ARC Federal Co-Chair Thomas Makes Inaugural Visit to Appalachian Kentucky

ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas made his first visit to the Appalachian Region since being sworn in to the position in April. Thomas headed to eastern Kentucky to attend the Appalachian Funders Network’s (AFN) 9th Annual Gathering in Pikeville, Kentucky. AFN is a funder-led initiative, with a membership of 59 59 local, regional and national funding organizations, interested in investing in Appalachia’s future economy. The Annual Gathering provides participants from members and other funding organizations, financial institutions, and federal agencies the opportunity to network and align investment strategies to accelerate large scale economic change across Central Appalachia. ARC, a founding investor in AFN, supports the network’s capacity to invest, and provides strategic input through participation in AFN Working Groups. Thomas also made a stop at the 2018 Kentucky Leadership Conference in Hindman, Kentucky where he joined Commissioner Sandy Dunahoo of the Kentucky Department for Local Government at a lunch panel discussion about federal resources for the Appalachian Region. Founded in 1988, East Kentucky Leadership Foundation (EKLF) was created to promote leadership in eastern Kentucky and continues to encourage leadership development, communication and collaboration throughout the area.

While in eastern Kentucky, Thomas visited University of Pikeville’s Kentucky College of Optometry(KYCO), one of only two optometry schools in the Appalachian Region. ARC supported start-up operations of the KYCO in 2014– including developing a curriculum, hiring staff and faculty, securing pre-accreditation status, and establishing clinical partnerships– with the goal of creating businesses and jobs, and expanding the regional healthcare workforce. An additional POWER grant allowed KYCO to purchase state-of-the-art training equipment, furnishings, instructional supplies, as well as signage for the school’s new facility, which is nearing completion. In addition to training the next generation of eye specialists, the school has a substantial direct economic impact on Pikeville and surrounding communities. KYCO’s inaugural class of 65 students is expected to graduate in 2020.


WV Hive Director Judy Moore, left, with the 2018 WV Hive Award winners: Vickie Webb, Partner of the Year, Delta Atkinson, Startup of the Year, and Mike Jude, Entrepreneur of the Year.

West Virginia Hive Announces Award Winners

The WV Hive announced the winners of the first annual WV Hive Awards at its Open House and Networking Event held on April 26 in Beckley, West Virginia. The Hive, a network of business accelerator spaces based on the WVU Tech campus in Beckley with four satellite offices throughout the area, supports new, emerging entrepreneurs and expanding existing small businesses by providing a mentor-based business accelerator. The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority was awarded an ARC POWER grant to help diversify the area’s economy by expanding the offerings of the Hive in a 12-county region of West Virginia, including, establishing a technical assistance fund to assist start-up businesses with hands-on technical aspects of their businesses, adding a social enterprise business coach and additional Regional business coaches, and hosting a variety of educational, networking, and development events throughout the year to encourage the connectivity of the entrepreneur community.

During the awards ceremony, Delta Atkinson won the Hive’s “Startup of the Year” award for her new business, The Barn on Unity Farm, a flat-rate, special event space in Princeton, West Virginia. The “Entrepreneur of the Year” award was presented to Mike Jude of Beckley, West Virginia, for his product, Kaydoor, a door with built-in storage designed especially for houses and apartments with limited closet space. Finally, Vickie Webb was honored with the “Partner of the Year” award. Webb is the Field Site Coordinator of the Raleigh County Health Sciences and Technology Academy, the Project Director of the Community Transformation Project, and leads the Next Generation Entrepreneur/STEAM Academy. She invests her time on Saturdays to meet middle and high school students to assist with coding, robotics, urban gardening, 3D printing, youth entrepreneurship, and more.


ARC is now accepting applications for 2018 POWER Initiative funding submitted in response to the POWER request for proposals issued on February 1. ARC will review applications on a competitive basis. Cycle 1 of the application process is now closed. The Cycle 2 application deadline has been extended to August 29, 2018 11:59 pm ET.


Giving Appalachians a Sense of What’s PossibleWest Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hidden River Cave to expand tours with swinging bridgeBowling Green Daily News, Bowling Green, Kentucky

Blue Ridge Parkway features improvements, renovations this driving seasonGreensboro News & Record, Greensboro, North Carolina

Teachers honored with trip to STEM programThe Standard-Journal, Milton, Pennsylvania

Rural Areas to Get Federal Funding Boost in New Transportation Grant ProgramRoute Fifty



ARC is currently recruiting candidates for two positions: a financial manager who will oversee the development, maintenance, and integrity of the agency’s accounting systems, and an intermodal transportation program analyst who will manage projects and initiatives that complement the success of the Appalachian Development Highway System and local access road program.

Complete position and application information is available on the ARC Job Opportunities page.

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.