HomeFrom the MayorAppalachian Regional Commission – May 31, 2018

Appalachian Regional Commission – May 31, 2018


ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas (second from left) visited an emergency facility in Meigs County during a recent trip to Appalachian Ohio.

ARC Federal Co-Chair Visits Ohio

ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas continued his tour around Appalachia with a visit to Ohio last week. Thomas gave a welcome address at the seventh annual Appalachian Ohio State of the Region conference, held at Ohio University in Athens. With the theme “Changing the Narrative – Using Rural Wealth Creation to Transform the Region,” public officials, regional economic development practitioners, and representatives from businesses and organizations gathered to discuss the role of creating wealth in attaining economic development, focused on local people, places and firms. While at Ohio University, Thomas was briefed on a number of ARC-funded entrepreneurship projects under the university’s umbrella, including the Voinovich School’s Social Enterprise Ecosystem (SEE), which offers development services to over 35 local social enterprises and local investors, and the Innovation Center’s work to strengthen an “Innovation Ecosystem” through the Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability (LIGHTS) program.

Federal Co-Chair Thomas participated in a roundtable discussion on responses to the opioid crisis in Southeast Ohio. He also visited ARC projects in Meigs County, including the Holzer Emergency Medical Facility where ARC helped equip a 24-hour emergency room facility that has employed about 35 workers and typically serves more than the 5,000 annual patients. In Lawrence County, Thomas visited The Point Industrial Park, which ARC funded early on to establish on a reclaimed brownfield site. During the course of his trip, Thomas also met with and heard about the work of Foundation for Appalachian OhioAppalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), the four Ohio local development districts, and other key partners.


Participants at the Celebrating Success conference for diabetes coalitions in Appalachia get up and moving. Increasing physical activity is a key goal of many of the programs implemented by the coalitions.

Preventing and Controlling Diabetes in Appalachia

Recent research on health disparities in Appalachia by ARC with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky found that the diabetes mortality rate is 11 percent higher in the Appalachian Region than the national rate. This report is one element of a multi-part health research initiative that aims to identify factors that support a culture of health in Appalachian communities and explore replicable activities, programs, or policies that encourage better-than-expected health outcomes that could translate into actions that other communities can replicate. ARC has long recognized the need to prevent and control diabetes in the Region, and partners with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health at Marshall University to provide technical assistance and training for community-based diabetes coalitions in distressed counties. The Appalachian Diabetes Control and Prevention Program (ADCTP) helps coalitions plan, implement, and evaluate community projects to help people with type 2 diabetes control their disease and prevent the disease in people who may be at risk. Six new coalitions were recently added to the network of over 70 in nine Appalachian states.

As one example, in recent years, ADCTP has established active diabetes coalitions in all of Alabama’s most distressed Appalachian counties. Each of the new coalitions took part in a “Diabetes Today” planning effort to identify strengths, needs, and direction, then received mini-grants for their initial activities. Community leaders were to deliver evidence-based programs, including diabetes self-management. Thousands of people have participated in physical activity programs set up by the diabetes coalitions in Alabama, such as team-based walking competitions and zumba or line dancing classes, and gentle yoga. Specifically, the Coosa County Health Coalition launched an onsite garden at the Coosa County Extension Office, began offering aerobics classes, and provides nutrition education classes and food demonstrations for the community. Additionally, a farmers market was established in Rockford, the county seat where there is no grocery store. These achievements, along with the strides made by other ADCTP diabetes coalitions across Appalachia, were shared during the recent Celebrating Successconference, April 24-27 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.


JMS state’s first EntreEd schoolLaFollette Press, LaFollette, Tennessee

The Business of CreativityVirginia Living

City awarded $500,000 grant for downtown streetscape projectGreer Today, Greer, South Carolina

Historic mill north of Lake Lanier being preservedLakeside News, Lake Lanier, Georgia

Cumberland granted $500,000 in federal fundsLocal DVM, Cumberland, Maryland



ARC invites proposals from qualified researchers and consultants to monitor and evaluate the impacts to date of the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. POWER is a congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities 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. Proposals are due June 28, 2018Find out more.


ARC is currently recruiting candidates for four positions: a program coordinator who will facilitate and organize a broad range of tasks in support of the POWER Initiative; a business program analyst who will support entrepreneurial and business development strategies; 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.