Appalachian Regional Commission

A lending program for small businesses in Appalachia is making millions in loans available throughout the region.

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced Wednesday that the Appalachian Community Capital lending program has put together its first $15 million from Wall Street banks and charitable foundations.

Coal Stock Pile
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Several federal government agencies are teaming up to send $35.5 million to help communities and workers adapt to the decline in coal jobs.  The grant is part of the  Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization  initiative, known as POWER, led by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Agency.

LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton

It’s been more than 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the War on Poverty. During the 1960s, the Appalachian region was facing economic hardships, partly because of mechanization in the coal fields. In 1965, President Johnson signed the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, which created the Appalachian Regional Commission. 

Local Food Local Places working group of representatives from federal, regional, state, and local organizations tour Wheeling.
Glynis Board / WVPB

Momentum continues to mount behind local food and local economic development efforts in the Northern panhandle. Wheeling was one of the top picks in a national Local Foods, Local Places Competition. As a result, local organizations are receiving technical assistance from multiple state and federal agencies to help capitalize on the growing demand for local foods.  Meetings with federal agency representatives began last week.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Jessica Lilly talks with the Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission about the region’s progress over the last 50 years.  And Jim Lange profiles jazz guitarist Ryan Kennedy who is releasing his first solo CD tonight.  Kennedy is a member of the Mountain Stage band. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


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The Appalachian Regional Commission was created as part of the War on Poverty, declared by Lyndon B. Johnson in Appalachia in 1964.

Earlier this week Senator Shelley Moore Capito, along with other federal representatives, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. The announcement comes on the heels of a report evaluating the progress of the Commission after 50 years. 

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, along with other federal representatives, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. The announcement comes on the heels of a report evaluating the progress of the Commission after 50 years.

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President Barack Obama's new budget proposal includes more than $3 billion worth of tax credits and other spending to help the Appalachian region recover from the declining coal industry.

The largest new spending would be $1 billion to redevelop abandoned coal mines. The money would go to states and tribes in $200 million increments over five years.

 The budget proposal released Monday also includes $20 million from the Department of Labor for states to help workers who lost their coal mining jobs by training them for other professions and $25 million to the Appalachian Regional Commission to help coal communities develop economic development plans. 

For instance, community organizers in Mingo County and other parts of southern West Virginia fought to clean up their local governments. In the process, they drew the wrath of powerful politicians.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

  Two West Virginia cities have been selected to participate in a federal initiative designed to integrate local food systems and economic development.

Wheeling and Williamson are among 26 nationwide, including eight others in Appalachia, that will receive technical support from the Local Foods, Local Places initiative.

The Appalachian Regional Commission and five other federal agencies announced the winners on Wednesday in a news release.

Appalachian Regional Commission
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An event being held in northwest Alabama will look at ways to keep young people in Appalachia.
 
The fall conference of the Appalachian Regional Commission will be held Thursday in Florence, Alabama.
 
The session will look at ways to keep young people in the region and prevent the loss of potential workers, community leaders and business owners.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian Regional Commission turns 50 this year and has awarded a grant to West Virginia University and two other agencies to analyze whether it’s been successful.

The $300,000 grant will allow the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research and Regional Research Institute to work with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness based in Arlington, Va., to identify what economic development strategies have worked.

Growing entrepreneurship. That was the focus of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s annual conference in Charleston.

Members from the 13 Appalachian states shared their experiences and ideas on how to create an environment that will encourage entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses into the future, but many agreed it starts with education.

Miners seek to find other work through a rapid response occupational skills training, the Appalachian Regional Commission meets at their annual conference to discuss ways to encourage small business startups and growth,  and West Virginia Public Broadcasting's very own Matt Jackfert discusses this show's new theme music.

Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

The Appalachian Regional Commission aims to grow entrepreneurship.

The Gulf Coast provides a hint at what good, and bad, can come from a cracker plant planned for Pennsylvania.

A look at just what goes into making Tennessee moonshine.

And one West Virginia man tackles the problem of profound poverty.

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