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Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative



Letter of Intent (Required): Mar 1, 2024
Application Deadline: Apr 17, 2024


Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)


Provides funds for economic revitalization projects in communities impacted by employment loss in coal mining, coal-power plants, or related supply-chain or logistics industries of either sector in the Appalachian region. POWER accepts applications with substance use disorder (SUD) response components, the proposal must primarily address 1 of the above investment priorities:

  • Fostering entrepreneurial activities
  • Developing industry clusters in communities
  • Building a competitive workforce
  • Increasing broadband access

Proposals that include components related to substance use disorder (SUD) response will be accepted if they address 1 of the above priority areas.

POWER planning grants are available to assist communities and regions in developing plans, strategies, and feasibility studies, with the goal of growing and diversifying local economies. Applicants for POWER planning grants are encouraged to apply for a future POWER implementation grant to implement plans and strategies developed through the planning grant. However, implementation funding is not guaranteed, and recipients of planning funds should identify other potential sources of funding to implement their projects.

Applicants should include intentional strategies to increase inclusion of underrepresented communities in their proposed projects. More information regarding ARC funding goals and priorities can be found in Appalachia Envisioned: ARC Strategic Plan Fiscal Years (FY) 2022-2026.

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling:

  • $2,000,000 for implementation grants
  • $50,000 for planning grants

Project period:

  • Up to 3 years for implementation grants
  • Up to 12 months for planning grants

Up to a third of the total program funding will be available to fund broadband deployment projects with a maximum award of $2,500,000.

Applicants must provide matching funds from non-federal, other federal, or a combination of sources for the project. ARC maximum contributions are determined by ARC's classification of the county or counties served by the proposed project. Applicants may request up to 80% of the total project costs when the county served is designated as economically distressed based on ARC's FY 2024 County Economic Status in Appalachia classifications. Additional information on determining the match rate for multi-county projects can be found in the program guidance.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • Local development districts
  • Indian tribes or a consortium of Indian tribes
  • States, counties, cities, or other political subdivisions of a state, including a special purpose unit of a state of local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions
  • Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
  • Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations

Applicants must serve and benefit 1 or more of the counties in the Appalachian Region as defined by the Appalachian Regional Development Act (ARDA) of 1965, as amended.

Proposed POWER projects must be located within and targeted to communities or regions that have been recently impacted, or can reasonably demonstrate that they will be impacted in the near future, by employment loss in coal mining, coal-power plants, or related supply-chain or logistics industries of either sector.

Current POWER grantees are eligible to apply for POWER FY 2024 funds only if the scope of work for the proposed project is new and does not overlap with a current open POWER grant. Grantees due to close out their implementation projects by October 1, 2024 may submit new applications that include an expansion of geography, increased scope of work with an existing concept, or a proposal with a new concept.

Current recipients of a Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities (WORC), Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE), Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE), Area Development Program, or other ARC funded grant are eligible for POWER FY 2024 funding only if the scope of work for their FY 2024 POWER proposal is new and does not overlap with an open WORC, INSPIRE, ARISE, or other ARC funded grant.

Geographic Coverage

Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia

What This Program Funds

Capacity Building • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing • Starting a Business

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information about the application process are available in the program guidance.

Applicants must submit an online letter of intent (LOI) by March 1, 2024. After submitting the LOI, applicants will be directed to complete a full application, with a deadline of April 17, 2024.

Applications must be submitted online through the ARC application portal.

Prior to submitting the final application, every applicant is required to contact the state program managers of the states impacted by the project proposal to ensure the proposal aligns with Appalachian economic development priorities for each state served by the project.

Applicant webinar recording


For questions about the POWER Initiative or use of agency funds to support projects:
Contact the state program manager

Rural Awards

Past awards communities received in FY 2023 are described on the program website.

Rural communities who have received funding include:

  • University of Pikeville, Inc. in Pikeville, Kentucky used grant funds to purchase dental equipment and supplies for the UPIKE College of Dental Medicine, which aims to address dental workforce shortages in Central Appalachia and increase access to specialized oral healthcare, including for pediatric patients and those recovering from SUD.
  • Mountain CAP of WV, Inc. in Buckhannon, West Virginia received funding for a feasibility study to establish a recycling plant, create a social enterprise, and provide workforce development opportunities. The project will help the community respond to an increased need for services from individuals experiencing homelessness and families impacted by SUD.
  • Morgan County, Ohio was awarded a grant to provide high-speed broadband service to 914 underserved households and 23 businesses in the county. The project will also include broadband and technology training courses for agricultural businesses and activities to expand access to new markets for local entrepreneurs.

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Economic Development • Education and Training • Healthcare Workforce • Infrastructure • Substance Use Disorder • Transportation