The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded Land of Sky Regional Council $952,963 to develop the creative manufacturing industry in 26 counties in Western North Carolina. The project aims to improve economic resilience in coal-impacted communities, serve 705 businesses, create over 110 jobs, retain an additional 158 jobs, and leverage $4,450,000 of private investment. The award is part of ARC’s POWER Initiative, the largest package to date, in which $54 million is being distributed to support 64 projects across 217 coal-impacted counties.
Land of Sky Regional Council Awarded ARC Grant for Creative Manufacturing in Western North Carolina
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has granted $952,963 to the Land of Sky Regional Council (LOSRC) to bolster the Creative Manufacturing industry across 26 counties in Western North Carolina (WNC). The project will work in collaboration with partners like the Southwestern Commission, High Country COG, Western Arts Agencies of North Carolina (WNC Arts), Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, AB Tech, Mountain BizWorks, Center for Craft, and more.
Enriching the Creative Manufacturing Sector in WNC
This allocation is part of a grand $54 million package aimed at sparking economic resilience in 26 coal-affected communities in WNC by fueling the Creative Manufacturing sector. “This project is expected to benefit 705 businesses, generate over 110 jobs, retain an additional 158 jobs, and leverage $4,450,000 of private investment,” says Sara Nichols, LOSRC’s Senior Planner. Visit the LOSRC website for more information.
POWER Initiative for Economic Diversification in Appalachian Communities
The funding is part of ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. This initiative supports economic diversification projects in Appalachian communities impacted by job losses in coal mining and related industries. “The projects receiving grants in this round of POWER funding show that the future of Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities is economically diverse and innovative,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin.
Mountain BizWorks Supports Craft Businesses and Manufacturing in WNC
Jamie Karolich, Program Manager at Mountain BizWorks, expressed his excitement about this investment, stating, “Economic vitality springs from cultural vitality, and we believe craft is both a rich part of our heritage and a powerful driver of our future opportunity.” More details on this can be found on the Craft Your Commerce website.
ARC’s Impact on Economic Growth
Since the inception of the POWER Initiative in 2015, ARC has invested over $420 million in projects impacting 365 coal-affected counties. These investments have helped create or retain more than 53,000 jobs and prepared over 142,000 workers for new opportunities in various growing industries. More about ARC’s mission can be found on the Appalachian Regional Commission website.