As of late 2021, all four counties within the FRC region — Cleveland, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford — are part of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
The ARC is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on more than 400 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.
It does this by providing grants, publishing research, and sponsoring learning experiences in order to enable Appalachian communities to seize opportunities, address economic disparity and advance prosperity.
The organization’s 2022-2026 strategic plan, Appalachia Envisioned: A New Era of Opportunity, establishes the following investment priorities:
- Building Appalachian Businesses
- Building Appalachia’s Workforce Ecosystem
- Building Appalachia’s Infrastructure
- Building Regional Culture and Tourism
- Building Community Leaders and Capacity
- More information about ARC grants is available here.
- You can use ARC’s grant resources search function on their website here.
- The NC Dept. of Commerce ARC page is available here.
Understanding the Opioid Crisis in Appalachia
Understanding the needs and priorities of the Appalachian region also means understanding the ways that the opioid crisis has affected it. ARC offers a data visualization tool illustrating this impact and how it ties to socioeconomic factors such as unemployment, poverty, education, and disability.
Click here to view and interact with the mapping tool.