Eastern Kentucky communities receives record ARC funding in FY 2020

Funds allocated for economic development, infrastructure upgrades, job creation

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky has received the largest Appalachian Regional Commission investment in a single state in decades, totaling more than $36.5 million. The funding supports 34 projects to improve economic diversification in Kentucky’s 54 Appalachian counties, many of which are affected by the changing economics of America’s energy production.

“We truly appreciate ARC’s partnership with Kentucky,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “This year’s ARC funding will help build a better Eastern Kentucky by giving Kentuckians access to real opportunity, economic growth, good-paying jobs and quality health care and education in their communities.”

With ARC support, Hazard Community and Technical College purchased critical training equipment. (ARC photo)

Projects will expand industry, provide crucial resources and invest in the next generation of Kentucky leaders.

Many of Eastern Kentucky’s 54 Appalachian counties lack critical infrastructure and economic diversification, limiting opportunities for many Kentucky families.

“ARC investments are helping shape a stronger Appalachian Kentucky, creating jobs and instilling hope,” said ARC federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “Kentucky has been an admirable partner for ARC throughout Fiscal Year 2020, bringing forward a record number of worthy projects that will yield tangible results for its citizens and their communities.”

This year, ARC funds have supported projects that are expected to create more than 2,000 well-paying jobs, develop workforce training and education programs, update critical water and wastewater infrastructure, provide clean drinking water and improve access to quality health care.

Department for Local Government Commissioner Dennis Keene, Beshear’s ARC representative, explained ARC’s investment will make a lasting impact on Eastern Kentucky families.

“ARC’s record investment in Kentucky will make meaningful improvements for the commonwealth,” Keene said . “We can’t overstate how important the partnership between Kentucky and ARC is. Their record investment in Kentucky will make a difference for our families for generations to come and brings us one step closer to economic parity.”

The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments, focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. More information on Kentucky’s partnership with ARC and the complete list of Kentucky ARC counties is available here.