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Envision Appalachia: Appalachian Regional Commission Calls For Public Input

Courtesy of Appalachian Regional Commission
Appalachian Regional Commission map of regions that are part of the federal commission. Map from 2018.

The Appalachian Regional Commission(ARC) is looking for public input from the Appalachian community about what the commission should prioritize in the next 4 years.  The federal organization has funded economic development and infrastructure projects in the region since 1965.  BPR reported in 2019 that over the past decade the ARC has spent over $40 million in Western North Carolina on about 130 projects.

“ARC has long been known as a ground-up organization, working to support efforts to strengthen local economies and build community capacity,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas in a statement. “We realize this approach is even more imperative as we work together to address ongoing and future challenges presented by the current COVID crisis. I encourage Appalachians across all thirteen states to consider joining us to better inform these important discussions.”

The ARC’s current strategic plan for 2016 to 2020 was extended through September 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That plan was made based on input from more than 3,000 Appalachians. In total, ARC invested more than $725.7 million and attracted approximately $4 billion in leveraged private investment during that time in the thirteen-state region.

The commission will host 5 virtual conversations in April or there is an online input survey at arc.gov/EnvisionAppalachia.

The “Envision Appalachia: Community Conversations for ARC’s Strategic Plan” virtual sessions will be held on the following dates:

•             Monday, April 12 at 3:00 PM ET

•             Wednesday, April 14 at 10:00 AM ET

•             Saturday, April 17 at 10:00 AM ET

•             Tuesday, April 20 at 7:00 PM ET

•             Thursday, April 22 at 12:00 PM ET

Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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