November 01, 2019

Manchin Hosts ARC Co-Chair And Highlights ARC Power Grants For West Virginia

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today hosted Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Co-Chair Tim Thomas in Kanawha and Raleigh counties and highlighted the importance of ARC POWER grants for economic growth and investing in job creation in West Virginia. Senator Manchin and Co-Chair Thomas were joined by business and community leaders at the Toyota Advanced Tech Center and the N3 office in South Charleston, the Elk City District in Charleston, and the 48th job fair in Beckley.

“Today I hosted Co-Chair Thomas in Charleston and Beckley and showed him the economic impact the ARC’s investment in West Virginia has produced. I have always said that West Virginia’s workforce is one of the most talented and hard-working groups of people, they just need a chance to show it, which is exactly what the ARC has done. Since 2015, West Virginia has received more than $80 million in funding from the ARC and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to advocate for this funding so the ARC can keep investing in states like West Virginia. Thank you to Co-Chair Thomas for joining me in West Virginia and for the ARC’s investments in our state. I look forward to working together in the future to make West Virginia’s workforce and economy stronger,” said Senator Manchin.

“ARC investments in West Virginia continue to show results, and that is why I am so proud to be here with Senator Joe Manchin to see some of our latest investments in action, particularly those helping coal-impacted communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas.  “ARC grants help improve broadband and other critical infrastructure, support entrepreneurs, train workers, create jobs, and aid those in substance abuse recovery, and I thank Senator Manchin for his strong support of these initiatives.”

View Senator Manchin’s op-ed on the importance of the ARC in today’s Charleston Gazette-Mail here.


The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was established in 1965 and is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. The reach of the Appalachian Regional Commission across 13 States and 420 counties, West Virginia remains the only state fully within the jurisdiction of the Appalachian Regional Commission. 

ARC Funding In West Virginia:

Since 2015, West Virginia has received nearly $83 million from ARC. This funding is largely broken down into two buckets: an annual allocation that goes to the state, which then determines awardees, and annual POWER grants (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization), discretionary grants that are awarded on competitive basis from ARC. Since the start of 2015, West Virginia has received $36.021 million in allocated funding. West Virginia has also been awarded $46.372 million in POWER Grants since the start of 2016, when the program began.

POWER Grants:

In 2019, West Virginia has received $10,755,467 in POWER grants. The POWER Program is a congressionally funded initiative that 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.

October 2019 ARC POWER Grants to West Virginia:

Sprouting Farms Corporation

Talcott, WV


Integrating Agri-Development Centers in Central Appalachia

-        Creates network of Agri-Development Centers in WV and SW Virginia to support increased agricultural production for wholesale markets and build a network of skilled workers, an incubator program for beginning farmers, and a workforce training program for youth/adults in in recovery or previously incarcerated.

-        Projected to serve 152 businesses, create 125 new jobs, and leverage $1.4 million in private investment

-        Other investment includes: USDA Local Food Promotion Program, AML Pilot Program, a Rural Business Development Grant, and the Benedum Foundation. 


Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (EntreEd)

Charleston, WV


Fostering Self ESTEAM in Appalachia’s Emerging Workforce

-        2-year program will offer professional development programming for educators, award an official “America’s Entrepreneurial Schools” designation for participating schools, and provide mini-grants for schools pursuing ESTEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) integration, with a focus on encouraging entrepreneurship for middle and high school students.

-        Collaborative effort with EdVenture Group, National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, National Center for Resource Development, and local community college and education agency partners, with funding from Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, expanding on EntreEd’s previous POWER grant.


Advantage Valley

Wyoming County Economic Development Authority

Charleston, WV

Pineville, WV


Fostering Advantages for Startups and Entrepreneurial Resurgence (FASTER)

-        Focusing on a seven-county region in WV, this program will partner with local economic development authorities, educational institutions, and business incubators to foster startups and business expansion through two components: a $930,001 grant to Advantage Valley for technical assistance to entrepreneurs and businesses a $150,000 grant to the Wyoming Co. EDA to recapitalize and operate a revolving loan fund.

-        Projected to serve 50 new businesses, 60 credentialed entrepreneurs, and 150 new jobs, while leveraging $4.5 million in private investment and funds from the Benedum Foundation, Bridge Valley Community & Technical College, and Unlimited Future, Inc.


WV High Technology Consortium Foundation

Fairmont, WV


3 Steps to Start Up program

-        Consists of building awareness and education to develop a pipeline of entrepreneurs; providing access to a network of mentors and professional services for early stage businesses; and making available $1.2 million in investment capital from West Virginia Job Investment Trust (WVJIT) for entrepreneurs seeking to launch or expand businesses. Additional partners include: WV TechConnect, INNOVA Commercialization Group, and WVJIT

-        Projected to serve 85 businesses, and create 124 new jobs and 15 new businesses, with funding from the Benedum Foundation


EdVenture Group, Inc.

Morgantown, WV


Simulated Workplace Entrepreneurship Education Pathway (SWEEP) program

-        Builds entrepreneurial mindsets and support business venture development within West Virginia’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) students by providing them with the skills needed to find success within their own communities in six economically distressed counties (Calhoun, Fayette, Gilmer, Lincoln, Mingo, and Wyoming)

-        Will expose 1000 students and 75 instructors to entrepreneurship education through project-based learning, and develop 50 business plans. Key partners include the West Virginia Department of Education, Marshall University, Intuit Education, and Standwatch Academy.



West Virginia Regional Technology Park Corp.

South Charleston, WV


Broadband Infrastructure to Augment Education and Industry Cluster Development

-        Constructs a fiber ring around 12 buildings in the West Virginia Regional Technology Park which will equip all the buildings for broadband service speeds up to 100 Gbps and add a 288 fiber-count ring around the park and 24 fiber-count drops into each building. Provides support for all voice, data networking, and internet access services

-        Projected to serve 30 businesses and add 150 new jobs



Appalachian Headwaters

Lewisburg, WV


Appalachian Beekeeping Collective Diversification and Expansion project

-        Expands its economic diversification and entrepreneur training program focused on the apiculture (honey and bee products) industry to 17 counties in southern West Virginia and five counties in Appalachian Virginia.

-        Projected to serve over 1,000 new and existing beekeeping entrpreneurs, create 150 jobs, retain 145 existing jobs, create 65 new businesses, and leverage $635,580 in private investment

-        Will establish a new processing and training hub in southwestern Virginia and develop a training and marketing program for new bee products and services


Regional Research Institute at WVU

Morgantown, WV


Assessment of the evolving impact of the downturn in the coal economy in Appalachia

-        Provides quarterly updates to Appalachian-based coal employment and production data and forecasts, shift-share analysis of Appalachian counties, and updates to data on power plant retirements and repowerings to reflect recent changes in the industry

-        Provides identification and analysis of existing industrial clusters and causal impacts of coal employment on local education funding, as well as a scan of state treatment and recovery responses to substance abuse epidemic and an examination of entrepreneurship ecosystem conditions for coal-impacted communities


Friends of the Cheat, Inc.

Kingwood, WV


Development of the Mountaineer Trail Network: Preston County Pilot Trail Plan

-        Produces the first comprehensive trail plan within the newly formed Mountaineer Trail Network, a 10-county bike trail system in north-central West Virginia

-        Will map all existing trail resources, highlight existing connection gaps, and identify trail routes that would link existing amenities to other key trails and recreation hubs

-        Will serve as a model to be replicated in the network’s other nine counties and additional funding is coming from the federal Abandoned Mine Lands pilot program


Wayne County Economic Development Authority

Wayne, WV


Bio Based Manufacturing strategic plan

-        Develops market-ready business plans around bio-manufacturing opportunities in local markets, including upcycling of landfill-destined materials and developing the logistical networks for connecting those opportunities

-        Provides the blueprint for further collaboration with Coalfield Development Corporation to create new jobs, rescue and repurpose thousands of tons of materials from landfills, and promote sustainable investment in local economies and infrastructures.

-        Other investment includes the West Virginia Specialty Crop program and the Cliff Bar Foundation 


Partners in Health Network, Inc.

Charleston, WV


Economic Impact of Rural Hospitals and Health Centers

-        Feasibility study for expanding the Appalachian Pulmonary Health Project to additional critical access rural hospital and healthcare facilities that have been adversely affected by the downturn in the coal economy.