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Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) - Area Development and Distressed Counties Programs

Grants to West Virginia Government Agencies and
Nonprofits for Economic and Infrastructure Development

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West Virginia Department of Commerce - Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

Deadline Date:

01/31/18 Postmarked


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Grants to West Virginia nonprofit organizations and government agencies for a broad range of economic development projects in counties throughout the state. Program areas broadly include business development, education and workforce, community development, and infrastructure development.

Applications are invited for the Area DevelopmentProgram and the Distressed Counties Program:

Area Development Program:

Eligible project activities must be consistent with FY 2018 ARC/State of West Virginia Goals, Objectives, and Strategies.

All 55 counties in West Virginia are eligible.

Distressed Counties Program:

The Commission recognizes that there are counties within Appalachia with persistent, long-term problems that have resulted in extraordinary levels of economic and human distress. The Commission is committed to providing special assistance to these distressed counties so that their residents are better able to address problems, realize opportunities, and effectively participate in setting the course of their future development.

Eligible project activities must be consistent with FY 2018 ARC/State of West Virginia Goals, Objectives, and Strategies.

Highest Priorities:

The highest priorities for the ARC program are infrastructure projects (water and wastewater) that lead to job creation or address a critical community need, particularly in ARC-designated distressed counties. 

Please note that ARC is a regional economic development agency, and therefore requests for ARC assistance should focus on economic development.

Eligible funding requests must meet the following criteria:
1) Project relates to one or more of the ARC/State of West Virginia development strategies
2) Projects are clearly described, including documented need and achievable outcomes
3) Non-ARC resources are secured to leverage the requested ARC funds
4) Applicant has the experience and capacity to manage project. Nonprofit organizations must demonstrate adequate capacity, including fulltime staff, current 501(c)3 status, and a demonstrated track record of managing comparable projects.

County Designations:

-Distressed Counties: Boone, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Gilmer, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, Roane, Webster, and Wyoming.

-At-Risk Counties: Barbour, Fayette, Hardy, Mason, Mercer, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Ritchie, Summers, Tyler, Wayne, Wetzel, and Wirt.

-Transitional Counties: Berkeley, Brooke, Cabell, Doddridge, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Mineral, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, and Wood.

-Competitive Counties: Jefferson.

West Virginia FY 2018 ARC State Strategies:

West Virginia’s ARC state strategies are listed below. Each strategy is collated with the goals and objectives of the ARC Startegic Plan, Investing in Appalachia’s Future 2016-2020. All projects requesting assistance from the West Virginia ARC program must match one of the state strategies listed below in order to receive consideration for funding.

ARC Goal 1: Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia’s economy.

ARC Objective 1.1: Strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems and support for existing businesses.

State Strategy 1.1.1: Support programs and initiatives that provide training, assistance, and other resources to entrepreneurs for the creation and expansion of local businesses.

State Strategy 1.1.2: Support programs that encourage youth entrepreneurship.

State Strategy 1.1.3: Increase access to capital for entrepreneurs and businesses.

State Strategy 1.1.4: Support planning, analysis and construction activities that lead to the development or enhancement of business incubator facilities and programs.

State Strategy 1.1.5: Nurture local businesses through support of activities such as buy local campaigns and business retention and expansion programs.

ARC Objective 1.2: Support the start-up and growth of businesses, particularly in targeted sectors.

State Strategy 1.2.1: Support planning and analysis activities such as feasibility studies that identify and capitalize upon emerging economic opportunities and sectors.

State Strategy 1.2.2: Support the development of identified emerging economic opportunities and sectors such as local food systems, tourism, energy, health care, exports, and technology.

ARC Objective 1.3: Enhance the competitiveness of the Region’s manufacturers.

State Strategy 1.3.1: Provide training opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses for competitive improvement.

ARC Objective 1.4: Promote export strategies to connect start-up and established businesses with external and global markets.

State Strategy 1.4.1: Assist small- and medium-sized businesses to locate and access markets for their products, with emphasis on export training and assistance that will enable them to participate in the international marketplace.

ARC Goal 2: Increase the education, knowledge, skills, and health of residents to work and succeed in Appalachia.

ARC Objective 2.1: Develop and support educational programs and institutions to prepare students for postsecondary education and the workforce.

State Strategy 2.1.1: Support planning, analysis, and implementation activities that improve workforce readiness for current and future employment needs.

State Strategy 2.1.2: Assist innovative approaches that aid dislocated workers and communities that are experiencing significant economic transformation.

State Strategy 2.1.3: Encourage youth and student opportunities for work and community service experiences, including internships, mentorships, leadership development, and job shadowing.

State Strategy 2.1.4: Support the creation and expansion of innovative workforce training and education programs such as Youth Build.

ARC Objective 2.2: Support programs that provide basic and soft-skills training to prepare workers for employment.

State Strategy 2.2.1: Support local and regional efforts to increase access to early childhood education programs.

State Strategy 2.2.2: Support literacy, lifelong learning, and dropout prevention initiatives.

State Strategy 2.2.3: Assist efforts that strengthen post-secondary education and employment training programs.

ARC Objective 2.3: Increase local residents access to STEAM and other skills training on state-of-the-art technology and processes across all educational levels.

State Strategy 2.3.1: Promote education and training in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) for future employment.

ARC Objective 2.4: Improve access to affordable, high-quality health care for workers and their families.

State Strategy 2.4.1: Expand the state’s supply of quality health-care professionals by attracting new practitioners and offering training and education for members of the health-care workforce.

State Strategy 2.4.2: Improve facilities and infrastructure to support the provision of high-quality clinical care in underserved areas.

ARC Objective 2.5: Develop and support sustainable programs that remove barriers to participating in the workforce.

State Strategy 2.5.1: Build community-based partnerships to encourage local health initiatives addressing diabetes, obesity, oral health, infant mortality, substance abuse, or other conditions that constitute barriers to workforce participation and community quality of life.

State Strategy 2.5.2: Promote efforts that increase access to quality child care to support workforce recruitment and retention.

ARC Goal 3: Invest in critical infrastructure—especially broadband; transportation, including the Appalachian Development Highway System; and water/wastewater systems.

ARC Objective 3.1: Promote the productive and strategic use of broadband and other telecommunications infrastructure throughout the Region to increase connectivity and strengthen economic competitiveness.

State Strategy 3.1.1: Make strategic investments in high-speed telecommunications infrastructure to increase local and regional connectivity and access.

State Strategy 3.1.2: Encourage the use of telecommunications applications in education, health care, business, government, and infrastructure initiatives.

State Strategy 3.1.3: Assist planning, analysis, and training activities that increase broadband adoption rates in the state.

ARC Objective 3.2: Ensure that communities have adequate basic infrastructure to implement their community and economic development objectives.
State Strategy 3.2.1: Provide support for expansion or rehabilitation of basic infrastructure to improve community quality of life and facilitate economic development.

State Strategy 3.2.2: Work with localities and regional organizations to support the planning, assessment, and prioritization of infrastructure projects to ensure greater efficiency and coordination of infrastructure investments.

State Strategy 3.2.3: Provide assistance for planning and deployment of alternative approaches to basic infrastructure in more isolated and hard-to-reach communities.

State Strategy 3.2.4: Provide training, consultation, and financial support for local leaders and organizations to build their capacity to address infrastructure challenges.

State Strategy 3.2.5: Strengthen critical civic institutions and anchors such as community centers through assistance with facility improvements, program expansion, and organizational development.

State Strategy 3.2.6: Assist local and regional energy efficiency efforts to enhance their economic competitiveness and sustainability.

State Strategy 3.2.7: Support efforts to provide affordable housing.

ARC Objective 3.3: Support the construction and adaptive reuse of business-development sites and public facilities to generate economic growth and revitalize local economies.

State Strategy 3.3.1: Provide support for the development and improvement of industrial sites, commercial and industrial parks, and shell buildings that will spur economic development.

State Strategy 3.3.2: Support planning, assessment, and redevelopment efforts that target vacant and dilapidated buildings for adaptive reuse.

State Strategy 3.3.3: Leverage support for the reclamation and redevelopment of brownfields and mine-impacted sites to convert them to productive economic and community uses.

ARC Objective 3.4: Complete the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) and construct local access roads to strengthen links between transportation networks and economic development.

State Strategy 3.4.1: Assist federal and state departments of transportation in solving design problems and moving ADHS sections to the construction phase.

State Strategy 3.4.2: Support local access road projects that result in economic development, provision of essential services, or community revitalization.
State Strategy 3.4.3: Encourage initiatives that increase the ability of communities to capitalize on economic development opportunities presented by ARC highway corridors, including downtown revitalization, gateway enhancements, and corridor development.

State Strategy 3.4.4: Assist efforts to create and develop ARC highway corridor regional development authorities.

State Strategy 3.4.5: Promote the development of complete streets that support multiple modes of travel—transit, biking, walking, and automobile.

ARC Objective 3.5: Invest in intermodal transportation planning and infrastructure that builds upon the ADHS and maximizes the Region’s access to domestic and international markets.

State Strategy 3.5.1: Support initiatives that improve rail service for economic development such as the installation of rail spurs.

State Strategy 3.5.2: Support the planning and development of infrastructure that enhances economic development opportunities presented by intermodal transportation.

State Strategy 3.5.3: Support improvements to transportation facilities such as airports that promote economic development.

ARC Goal 4: Strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by leveraging the Region’s natural and cultural heritage assets.

ARC Objective 4.1: Preserve and strengthen existing natural assets in support of economic opportunities that generate local and regional benefits.

State Strategy 4.1.1: Promote activities and initiatives that effectively use walking, cycling, and other outdoor recreation trails for local economic benefit and community quality of life.

State Strategy 4.1.2: Support planning, assessment, and implementation initiatives that promote economic development and good stewardship of the state’s natural resources.

State Strategy 4.1.3: Encourage initiatives such as farmers markets, urban agriculture, and community-supported agriculture that strengthen local and regional food systems and increase access to healthy food.

State Strategy 4.1.4: Support local hazard mitigation efforts that strengthen economic development and protect natural, structural, and cultural assets.

ARC Objective 4.2: Support strategic investments in natural and cultural heritage resources to advance local economic growth.
State Strategy 4.2.1: Support efforts to identify, assess, and mobilize regional assets, including natural, cultural, and structural assets and resources that can be utilized for economic growth and diversification.

ARC Objective 4.3: Support preservation and stewardship of community character to advance local economic growth.

State Strategy 4.3.1: Promote a sense of place and community stewardship by assisting local efforts in community beautification, wayfinding, and other activities that strengthen community identity and improvement.

State Strategy 4.3.2: Support the strategic development of tourism by investing in gateway communities, historic districts and preservation, and other unique local community features.

State Strategy 4.3.3: Support programs to improve local or regional waste management, including planning, public education initiatives, and recycling programs.

State Strategy 4.3.4: Promote downtown revitalization through planning, assessment, market analysis, and other planning and analysis activities.

State Strategy 4.3.5: Provide technical assistance, training, and support for West Virginia Main Street/ON-TRAC communities.

State Strategy 4.3.6: Leverage support for downtown façade and streetscape improvements to enhance community appearance and advance economic development.

ARC Goal 5: Build the capacity and skills of current and next generation leaders and organizations to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development.

ARC Objective 5.1: Develop and support robust inclusive leadership that can champion and mobilize forward-thinking community improvement.

State Strategy 5.1.1: Encourage and support strategies that increase local leadership, community engagement, and volunteer opportunities for community residents.

ARC Objective 5.2: Empower and support next-generation leaders and encourage authentic engagement in local and regional economic and community development.

State Strategy 5.2.1: Support greater involvement of young people in community activities such as forming youth councils, serving on advisory boards, and youth-based civic education.

ARC Objective 5.3: Strengthen the capacity of community organizations and institutions to articulate and implement a vision for sustainable, transformative community change.

State Strategy 5.3.1: Provide training and financial support to local governments and nonprofit organizations engaged in community development to build their capacity to address community and economic challenges.

ARC Objective 5.4: Support visioning, strategic planning and implementation, and resident-engagement approaches to foster increased community resilience and generate positive economic impacts.

State Strategy 5.4.1: Support planning, analysis, and technical assistance activities for local and regional organizations and units of government to capitalize on economic development opportunities and assets, address critical needs, or improve community quality of life.

State Strategy 5.4.2: Enhance the ability of the state’s philanthropic sector to retain philanthropic resources to increase regional and local self-sufficiency.

ARC Objective 5.5: Develop and support networks, partnerships, and other models of collaboration that catalyze public, private, and nonprofit action for community impact.

State Strategy 5.5.1: Encourage efforts to link communities to technical assistance, training, and skill development resources.

State Strategy 5.5.2: Encourage partnerships and promote regional efforts in economic and community development.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164385

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Units of local government, community and economic development agencies, regional planning and development councils, and nonprofit organizations are eligible.

Pre-Application Information:

ARC Participation Rates:
-For ARC-designated distressed counties, ARC participation rates are limited to 80% of the eligible project costs.
-For ARC-designated at-risk counties, ARC participation rates are limited to 70% of the eligible project costs.
-For ARC-designated transitional counties, ARC participation costs are limited to 50% of the eligible project costs.
-For ARC-designated competitive counties, ARC participation rates are limited to 30% of the eligible project costs.

Distressed Counties:
-For ARC-designated distressed counties, ARC participation rates are limited to 80% of the eligible project costs.

Match can be cash or in-kind resources. In-kind match must be realistic and documented in the application, including how the value of in-kind resources was derived. Matching funds should be identified by amount and source with evidence of assurance that such funds are available for the project.

The level of ARC participation may vary in projects that include activities and/or services involving at least one or more distressed and at least one or more non-distressed counties. Please check with the office as you plan multi-county projects.

The deadline for submitting an application is January 31, 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

James Bush, ARC Program Manager

ARC Program Representative
Attention: James Bush
West Virginia Development Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 3, Suite 700
Charleston, West Virginia 25305

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: West Virginia

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