RICHMOND, VA (October 28, 2022) – Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced more than $4 million in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. The funding will support workforce development, community revitalization and expanded health service efforts through economic development initiatives in the Appalachian region.
“The downturn of the coal industry has impacted regional economies across Appalachia, making regional partnerships and collaborative community efforts more important than ever as we diversify the Appalachian economy,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Not only will these projects support economic growth and development in Appalachian communities, but they are in line with my administration’s 2022 Virginia Energy Plan, focusing on a more realistic and dynamic future for Virginia’s energy production and consumption.”
The Dick and Willie Passage Trail 6A Completion project was funded for $665,000. The Harvest Foundation invested $320,600 toward this project in addition to partnering with Henry County on previous portions of the trail system.
Henry County will complete the last mile of an existing 2.96-mile gap in the D&W trail, Virginia’s longest public trail, connecting neighborhoods to opportunities for shopping, dining, entertainment, and the new Riverview park, as well as make improvements to the “Bike Barn,” a low-cost bike loan program that allows both visitors and residents to affordable bike the length of the trail. This project has been a longstanding regional goal, connecting to wider efforts both to promote Virginia’s regional trail system and to further foster Virginia tourism.
The ARC POWER Initiative is a congressionally funded program that helps communities and regions 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. More than $47 million in funding for 52 projects across 181 countries was made possible by the ARC POWER initiative. Since POWER launched in 2015, ARC has invested $366.6 million in 447 projects across 360 coal-impacted counties.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. In Virginia, 25 counties and eight cities comprise the ARC region.