WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine applauded $2,549,875 in federal funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for communities in Southwest Virginia. The funding, awarded through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative, will go toward three projects in the region to help spur economic diversification.
“We’re proud to see these federal dollars help fund vital economic diversification projects for Virginia’s communities,” said the Senators. “It’s important to ensure no community is left behind and workers have access to good-paying, in-demand jobs. As we continue to build back from the impacts of COVID-19, we will continue supporting policies and investments that improve the lives of all Virginians.”
The funding will be awarded as below:
- Appalachian Community Capital will receive $1,500,000 to support a capital access program across Central Appalachia by providing underserved communities with sources of capital.
- Virginia Coalfield Coalition will receive $1,000,000 for a broadband program that will benefit Buchanan and Tazewell Counties.
- LENOWISCO Planning District in Duffield will receive $49,875 to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of creating an agriculture-technology tool to track and report food miles for specific grains cultivated in Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties. This tool will help assess the value-add of Virginia grains to the industry, boost grain market opportunities for Southwest Virginian farmers, and drive additional revenue.
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments, including Virginia, with a mission to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia and help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. ARC’s POWER 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.