POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) is a congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been 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. On February 1, 2018, ARC issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 2018 POWER Initiative funding, and in February and March it hosted four educational webinars in support of the RFP. Additionally, a technical-assistance webinar was offered in August to provide guidance on applying for the second round of 2018 POWER funding. All of the webinars are available through this playlist.
To learn more about POWER, visit www.arc.gov/POWER
The Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) gives college students the opportunity to engage in research projects that address endemic challenges facing Appalachian communities. Led by the Consortium of Appalachian Centers and Institutes, the program includes coursework and active research on issues related to building a sustainable future for Appalachian communities. Faculty and students at each participating institution design and carry out research projects tailored to the needs of targeted communities, many of which are in economically distressed counties.
This research is presented at a conference held each year in Washington, D.C. The 2017 conference was held December 1–2. Thirteen institutions from 11 Appalachian states participated in the 2017 program, which was administered by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University.
The 2017 research teams and their topics were:
East Tennessee State University: “Rocky Fork State Park: Linking Natural and Economic resources through Oral Histories and Community Engagement”
Frostburg State University: “Establishing the Jane Gates Heritage House”
University of Tennessee Night: “Comes to the Cumberlands…and It’s Awesome: Promoting Night Sky Conservation and Development in the Upper Cumberland”
University of North Georgia: “Scrolling through History: Using digital storytelling to deliver social studies content to classrooms in Appalachian Georgia”
Fairmont State University: “Appalachian Childhood Empowerment through Heritage Arts”
Auburn University: “Macon County Veterans Oral History Project in collaboration with students at Tuskegee Public School”
Zane State College: “Downtown Zanesville: A Bridge to Our Past”
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College: “Planning Our Future The Harlan County Project: Phase 17”
Indiana University of Pennsylvania: “Northern Appalachian Foodways: Sustainability and a Seat at the Table”
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford: “Bradford Community Immunization Access: Bridging the Gap”
Radford University: “Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI) Building Social and Economic Capital in Southwest Virginia with Oral History Collecting”
Appalachian State University: “Assessing Riparian Health and Land Use on the New River of Ashe County, NC”
Supported by ARC to help build student leadership capacity, the program teaches real-world leadership skills, taking students out of the classroom and into their communities. The research conducted helps guide communities toward local solutions that help solve significant problems in a sustainable way; and the research presentations challenge ARC to take a fresh look at issues and solutions in the Appalachian Region.
As of June 2017, the ARC has invested over $92 million to help coal-impacted communities in Appalachia through the POWER Initiative. Together these projects will create or retain almost 8,600 jobs, benefit more than 25,400 workers and students and leverage over $206 million in additional investments to strengthen the region's economy. Hear about some of the over 100 POWER projects, in their own words. Learn more about the POWER Initiative: www.arc.gov/power
On January 10–11, 2017, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) hosted more than 140 grantees, partners, and other community leaders in Washington, D.C., to discuss best practices for implementing POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) grant awards and diversifying Appalachia’s coal-impacted economy.