The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a unique federal-state partnership providing social and economic support for a 13-state region stretching along the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi.
Established by the United States Congress in 1965, when Appalachia was considered "a region apart" from the rest of the nation, ARC has worked to bring Appalachia's 26 million people into America's economic mainstream
ARC supports economic development activities in 31 North Carolina counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey counties.
Each year ARC provides funding for projects throughout the Appalachian Region of North Carolina. Projects approved for ARC assistance must support one of the five general goals.
Goal 1: Building Appalachian Businesses
Goal 2: Building Appalachia's Workforce Ecosystem
Goal 3: Building Appalachia's Infrastructure
Goal 4: Building Regional Culture and Tourism
Goal 5: Building Community Leaders and Capacity
Eligible applicants are public entities (cities, towns, counties, regions, public service districts) and nonprofit organizations.
For additional information about the ARC program, please contact:
Olivia Collier - ARC Program Director - (919) 814-4656 or email@example.com
Olivia is the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Program Manager for North Carolina, a federal program that provides economic development assistance to Appalachia based on the Governor’s priorities. She has held this position since January of 2007. Olivia manages the day to day operations of the State’s ARC program. As program manager, her primary responsibilities are to ensure that the Governor’s priorities in Appalachia are being achieved and to ensure ARC resources are being deployed to assist in critical economic development challenges in the eligible ARC communities in Western North Carolina. As the ARC Program Manager, she has witnessed the remarkable effect that the ARC program has had in the 31 eligible Western North Carolina counties. During her tenure, the ARC program in North Carolina has awarded over $70 million to over 365 projects, leveraging an additional $115 million in other funding sources. The approved projects have created and retained thousands of jobs, assisted families with early childhood education and access to affordable healthcare, and provided workforce skill training programs for numerous communities. Prior to her current role, Olivia worked with the Community Development Block Grant Program ensuring that all grantees comply with applicable federal requirements. She also served as the Public Information Officer for the Division of Community Assistance for two years. Olivia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Master’s in Public Administration from East Carolina University. She has served on the New Generations Advisory Council and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Rural Health Task Force.
David McRae - ARC Assistant Program Manager - (919) 814-4672 or firstname.lastname@example.org
David is the ARC Grants Specialist for North Carolina’s Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) program. His primary role is assisting eligible communities and organizations in Western North Carolina apply for ARC POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative funding. Through this initiative David helps communities develop projects that maximize economic revitalization focusing on building a competitive workforce, fostering entrepreneurial activities, developing industry clusters, substance abuse response, and broadband deployment. He also assists NC ARC staff on other ARC initiatives within North Carolina. Prior to his current role, David worked in local government for Harnett County Development Services and Sanford/Lee County Planning and Community Development. David earned his BS in Urban & Regional Planning from East Carolina University and his MA in Appalachian Studies, Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University.
Ann Bass - ARC Community Development Planner, Western Region - (828) 508-0107 or email@example.com
Ann serves the far western region of NC providing community and economic development assistance to communities, local governments and regional organizations. Assistance takes the form of networking resources, technical assistance and research, project and program development, strategic planning for economies or economic sectors, downtown revitalization and placemaking. She is based in Sylva and has served in this position since March of 2017. Throughout her career Ann has had experience gluing electronic encoders, landscaping, managing park construction, planning multi-use recreational trails, master planning state parks, serving as a private planning and urban design consultant, programming and designing public spaces nationally and internationally with the Project for Public Spaces, doing downtown and Main Street development, starting and managing not-for-profit economic development organizations in the White Carpathian mountains of the Czech Republic, Yadkin Pee Dee Lakes region of NC and in the Town of Siler City. Her primary passion is for creating places we want to live in but she also has special interest in entrepreneurship and economic sector development—building out value chains using local assets and incremental investment to grow sustainable local economies.
Kyle Case - ARC Community Economic Development Planner, Northwest Region - (984) 275-5209 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle serves the northwest region of NC providing community and economic development assistance to communities, local governments, and regional organizations. Assistance takes the form of networking resources, technical assistance and research, project and program development, strategic planning for economies or economic sectors, downtown revitalization and placemaking. He is based in Morganton and has served in this position since September of 2020. Previously, Kyle worked as the Main Street Program Coordinator for the City of Lenoir where he enjoyed being a part of downtown revitalization efforts in his hometown. He also has experience in hospitality management, real estate, and small-scale agriculture. Kyle earned his BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and his Master’s in Public Administration from Appalachian State University.
General ARC Informational Documents
- 2021-2024 Development Plan
- 2021 Strategy Statement
- N.C. ARC 2022 Map
- ARC Performance Measure Guide
- ARC Strategic Plan
- 2021 Year in Review
FY 2023 Area Development Program - Fall Cycle - DUE JANUARY 31, 2023!
Application by invitation only:
Application Workshop Presentations:
ARC Grantee Documents
The POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative targets federal resources to help communities and regions 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.
The POWER Initiative supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and re-employment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment.
Although North Carolina has no active coal mining operations within the state, the NC Department of Commerce commissioned an economic study which uncovered negative economic impacts to the state caused by job losses in coal-fired power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. Our staff can assist prospective applicants appropriately address this portion of the grant application requirements. The report can be found here.
Information regarding the 2023 POWER Initiative grant cycle is forthcoming.
NC POWER Contact:
David McRae, ARC Assistant Program Manager
North Carolina Department of Commerce
Established in 1990, the Appalachian STEM Academy at Oak Ridge is a residential, hands-on learning experience for Appalachia’s middle and high school students, as well as high school teachers in STEM-related fields. Hosted by Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, this program is a gateway to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the Appalachian Region. Many participants come from economically distressed counties and often gain their first exposure to applied science and STEM education through this experience.
Application window for the 2023 Appalachian STEM Academy at Oak Ridge opens December 14, 2022, at 11:00 am.
The application deadline for the 2023 Appalachian STEM Academy at Oak Ridge is February 10, 2023.
In partnership with Appalachian State University, EntreEd, and STEM West, ARC’s Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA) prepares the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and thinkers. Chosen via a competitive application process, 26 high school students from across the Appalachian Region participate in experiential learning designed to cultivate creativity and develop essential entrepreneurial skills. While learning, students concurrently develop and implement their own business ideas, refine and prototype those ideas, and eventually deliver a shark-tank-style pitch presentation for an audience of entrepreneurs.
Application window for the 2023 Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy opens December 14, 2022, at 11:00 am.
The application deadline for the 2023 Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy is February 10, 2023.
The North Carolina ARC program collaborates with many federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities in the Appalachian region of the state. See below for links to partners' websites.
- Appalachian Regional Commission
- Economic Development Administration
- Environmental Protection Agency
- HUD Community Development Block Grant program
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- USDA Rural Development
- The Conservation Fund
- Golden LEAF
- NC Association of County Commissioners
- NC League of Municipalities
- NC Rural Economic Development Center
North Carolina Agencies
- NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund
- NC Division of Water Quality
- NCDHHS Office of Rural Health and Community Care
North Carolina Regional Councils
- High Country Council of Governments
- Foothills Regional Commission
- Land-of-Sky Regional Council
- Piedmont Triad Regional Council
- Southwestern Commission
- Western Piedmont Council of Governments