ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts. ARC invests in activities that address the five goals identified in the Commission's strategic plan:
Goal 1: Economic Opportunities
Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia's economy.
Goal 2: Ready Workforce
Increase 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.
Each year ARC provides funding for several hundred investments in the Appalachian Region, in areas such as business development, education and job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing, and transportation. These projects create thousands of new jobs; improve local water and sewer systems; increase school readiness; expand access to health care; assist local communities with strategic planning; and provide technical and managerial assistance to emerging businesses.