The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was created by Congress in 1965 to bring the 13 Appalachian states into the mainstream of the American economy. The Commission is a partnership of federal, state, and local governments, and was created to promote economic growth and improve the quality of life in the 13-state region stretching along the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. The region includes 406 counties, incorporating all of West Virginia and counties in 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The development organization for the Appalachian program in Alabama functions within the Governor’s Office. Administration responsibilities for the development programs of the ARC are assigned by the Governor to the Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). As such, the Director serves as an Alternate State Member of the Commission.
The Local Development Districts (LDDs) are our local partners and are an active and essential part of the ARC partnership. There are eight LDDs in Alabama’s Appalachian Region, and each LDD operates under a Board of Directors composed of elected representatives from the various local governments. The eight LDDs are: West Alabama Regional Commission (205/333-2990); Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (205/251-8139); Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (256/830-0818); Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (256/389-0555); North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (256/355-4515); South Central Alabama Development Commission (334/244-6903); Central Alabama Regional Planning Commission (334/262-4300); and East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission (256/237-6741). Technical assistance and assistance in the preparation of grant applications are available through each of the LDDs.
Alabama’s Appalachian Region includes the 37 northern-most counties. These counties are: Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston.
The usual maximum ARC funding per project is $200,000. ARC designates counties to be in one of five groups: Attainment Counties, Competitive Counties, Distressed Counties, At-risk Counties or Transitional Counties. These designations are made on an annual basis. Attainment Counties are not eligible for ARC funding. Competitive Counties are eligible for 30% ARC funding. Distressed Counties are eligible for 80% ARC funding. At-Risk Counties are eligible for up to 70% ARC funding. All other counties are Transitional Counties and are eligible for 50% ARC funding.
The goal of the ARC program is to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life. All projects must meet one of the following four goals established by ARC:
ARC Goal 1: Increase job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation.
ARC Goal 2: Strengthen the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy.
ARC Goal 3: Develop and improve Appalachia’s infrastructure to make the Region economically competitive.
ARC Goal 4: Build the Appalachian Development Highway System to reduce Appalachia’s isolation.
An annual ARC Workshop is held in late July or early August of each year. A notice of the workshop will be posted on the ADECA website at least one month prior to the workshop date. Pre-applications are taken the entire month of August. Pre-application guidelines and other documents are available online on this website.
View the state's development plan and strategy below:
Phone: (334) 353-4490
Fax: (334) 353-3527
The agendas for ARC's workshop (July 31) and the Education Grants workshop (Aug. 1) are listed below. The workshops, for the 2013 grant year, are being held at the Cullman City Hall in Cullman, AL. Also listed below is a guide map for restaurants located in downtown Cullman.
Grant Administration Manual
Grant Application Forms and Instructions