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Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, Tribes, and IHEs for Projects
to Assist Communities in Eligible Regions Impacted by Unemployment

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Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

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LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/16/21 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA nonprofits organizations, local development districts, government agencies, tribes, and IHEs for projects to assist communities in eligible regions impacted by job loss in the coal industry. Applicants must submit an LOI and contact the funding source prior to applying. Eligible projects are those that benefit communities in the Appalachian region.

The Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative makes available federal resources to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain or logistics industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production and the coal economy. POWER supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and reemployment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment. For coal-impacted communities to diversify their local and regional economies successfully, POWER prioritizes targeting federal resources to projects and activities with the following characteristics:

  • Will produce diverse economic development outcomes, such as the following:
    • Diversify the commercial and industrial bases of local and regional economies
    • Create high-quality, well-paying jobs in new and/or existing industries
    • Attract new sources of public and private investment
    • Provide a range of workforce services and skills training, including paid work based learning opportunities, resulting in industry-recognized credentials for high-quality, in-demand jobs
  • Are specifically identified under state, local, and/or regional economic development plans
  • Have been collaboratively designed by a diverse blend of state, local, and regional stakeholders

Grant Types

  • Implementation Grants: Implementation grants awarded under the POWER FY21 RFP are for the support of programmatic delivery. Applicants may also request funding to support construction incidental to their project.
  • Planning Grants: In addition to implementation grants, ARC will also award smaller planning grants to assist coal-impacted communities and regions in the Appalachian Region in the development of plans, strategies, and feasibility studies targeted to the diversification and growth of their economies. Planning awards should result in grantees better understanding their resources, identifying strengths and needs, and helping focus their future efforts through cost/benefit analyses.

To read about ARC's strategic investment goals, see page one of the guidelines in Supporting Documents, below.

For more details about the ARC's funding priorities, see the following link:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183102

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Implementation Grants: The Commission will make individual implementation grants in amounts between $400,000 and $1,500,000 for each project it awards within the congressionally-defined Appalachian Region, with exceptions for broadband deployment projects, which have a range of $400,000 to $2,500,000.
- Planning Grants: Amounts up to $50,000

Term of Contract:

- Implementation Grants: This period of performance for implementation projects awarded under this RFP may be a minimum 12 months and a maximum of 36 months.
- Planning Grants: For POWER planning awards, applicants can determine the period of performance necessary to meet the objective of their project, which may be up to 12 months (depending on the scope of work).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants for ARC’s POWER Initiative are the following:
• Local development districts (LDDs)
• Indian tribes or a consortium of Indian tribes
• States, counties, cities, or other political subdivision of a state, including a special purpose unit of a state or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions
• Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
• Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations

Though fiscal sponsors/agents may be used to submit a POWER proposal, only local development districts (LDDs) are able to serve as the lead applicant on more than one POWER project at a time. Similarly, only LDDs can submit more than one POWER application in an application period. For all other entities, only the most recently received application that met the deadline will be considered. If the most recent application is disqualified for any reason, it will not be replaced with an earlier application.

In addition, projects must serve and benefit a portion of the Appalachian Region as defined by the ARDA of 1965, as amended. The Appalachian Region includes certain counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and all of West Virginia. If projects extend beyond the ARC Region, only that portion that is within the Region is eligible for ARC funding.

Eligible POWER projects must be located within and targeted to communities or regions that have been recently impacted, or can reasonably demonstrate that they will be impacted in the near future, by coal-mining or coal-power plant employment loss, or employment loss in the supply-chain or logistics industries of either. Ongoing transitions in the United States energy sector generate outcomes that may impact, or have already impacted, different communities at different points in time.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Join ARC for the application workshop on February 2 to learn more about ARC’s POWER Initiative. This info session will give applicants a greater understanding of the POWER Initiative and the qualities of a well-rounded application. After the general session, ARC will release a collection of prerecorded training sessions and will host a live Q&A Session before Letters of Intent are due.

Register here:

Pre-Application Information:

- RFP release date: January 14, 2021
- Application portal opens: February 16, 2021
- Letter of intent due: March 5, 2021 (5 PM ET)
- Proposal due date: April 16, 2021 (5 PM ET)

Prior to submission of the application, every applicant is required to contact the state program managers of the states impacted by the project proposal. The state officials will ensure that the proposals are in alignment with their state Appalachian economic development priorities. State program managers also serve as a resource regarding any questions that applicants have about the POWER Initiative in general or about the use of agency funds to support projects in their communities and regions.

When the submitted LOI is accepted, ARC staff will create the application based on the information provided. The contact listed on the LOI will receive an email notification that their application has been created and access to the full POWER application via the application portal will be granted.

POWER applications will first be reviewed by the states in which the project’s activities and impacts are located. This initial review will ensure that the project’s scope of work is strategic and compatible with the state’s existing economic development priorities.

ARC federal program staff, state ARC officials, and outside subject matter experts will jointly review and score applications based on the criteria set out in this document.

Following this, applicants will be notified of their application’s status. Those recommended to move forward in the process will be assigned an ARC project coordinator who will work with the applicants to review and finalize their proposal.

Under POWER FY21, applicants for an ARC grant must demonstrate a matching share from non-ARC sources that is identified and forthcoming to the project. Matching sources may be non-federal, other federal, or a combination of sources, including in-kind sources. The maximum share of ARC assistance is determined by the ARC classification of the county (or all counties) served by the proposed activity. Applicants may request up to 80% of the total project cost when the county served by a project has been designated as economically “distressed” according to ARC’s FY21 classification.

For more information about matching funds, see the following link:
State Plans and Strategies:
Guide to ARC Project Performance Measures:

View Recordings Here:

Contact Information:

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

Applicants are required to submit a one-page letter of intent (LOI) using the provided template in PDF format to

Apply online:

Questions can be emailed to the email address listed above.

Appalachian Regional Commission
1666 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20009


Grant Coverage Areas:

Appalachia is made up of 420 counties across 13 states and spans 205,000 square miles, from southern New York to northern Mississippi. The Region’s 25 million residents live in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, and all of West Virginia. Map:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Georgia;   Kentucky;   Maryland;   Mississippi;   New York;   North Carolina;   Ohio;   Pennsylvania;   South Carolina;   Tennessee;   Virginia;   West Virginia

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