September 23, 2011

Rahall, Rockefeller, Manchin Announce Funding to Build Civic Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), along with Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin (both D-W.Va.), Friday announced federal funding for the West Virginia Development Office to increase leadership development and civic entrepreneurship in ten West Virginia counties.

“There are a lot of creative ideas in some of our most challenged economies in West Virginia, and I daily hear good suggestions from individuals and organizations throughout the counties this funding covers,” said Rahall.  “Promoting leadership and giving our communities the resources they need to shape their economic horizon and channel their energy into workable solutions is the aim of these dollars.”

“I hear from West Virginians every day who tell me about the challenges their communities are having during these tough times,” said Senator Rockefeller.  “By strengthening leadership capabilities in some of our hardest hit counties, local leaders and organizations will be better prepared to help their regions flourish in good times and in bad.  I am thrilled that the Benedum Foundation also recognizes the value of capacity building in these areas of the state and has joined as a partner in this effort.” 

“As Governor, I was a strong supporter of the Appalachian Regional Commission, and I am pleased that other organizations are joining with ARC to put their own skin in the game to help build our counties,” Senator Manchin said. “As I have always said, government should not be our provider; government should be our partner to help us build stronger communities and live up to our full potential as West Virginians and as Americans.”

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded a $200,000 grant to the West Virginia Development Office for its West Virginia Enhanced Distressed Counties Flex-E-Grant Program to provide mini-grants to cities, towns, counties, regions, and nonprofit organizations up to $10,000 per project. The Program promotes leadership and builds capacity among individuals, organizations, and communities in areas such as strategic planning, civic engagement, board development, and staff training.  The Flex-E-Grant program has a core focus on ARC Distressed counties in West Virginia, including Calhoun, Clay, Lincoln, McDowell, Mingo, Roane, Summers, Webster, Wirt, and Wyoming.

In addition to ARC funds, the Benedum Foundation will provide $100,000 and other local sources will provide $41,500, bringing the total project funding to $341,500.