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 22 million people into America's economic mainstream.

In North Carolina, ARC supports economic development activities in 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 investment goals.

Goal 1: Building Appalachian Businesses: Strengthen and diversify the Region’s economy through inclusive economic development strategies and investments in entrepreneurship and business development.

Goal 2: Building Appalachia’s Workforce Ecosystem: Expand and strengthen community systems (education, healthcare, housing, childcare, and others) that help Appalachians obtain a job, stay on the job, and advance along a financially sustaining career pathway.

Goal 3: Building Appalachia’s Infrastructure: Ensure that the residents and businesses of Appalachia have access to reliable, affordable, resilient, and energy efficient utilities and infrastructure in order to successfully live and work in the Region.

Goal 4: Building Regional Culture and Tourism: Strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by preserving and investing in the Region’s local, cultural heritage, and natural assets.

Goal 5: Building Community Leaders and Capacity: Invest in the capacity of local leaders, organizations, and communities to address local challenges by providing technical assistance and support to access resources, engage partners, identify strategies and tactics, and conduct effective planning and project execution.

Eligible applicants are public entities (cities, towns, counties, regions, public service districts) and nonprofit organizations.

For more detailed information about the NC ARC program, click here.