Since 2015 the Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded $94 million for Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) projects to help coal impacted communities diversify and grow their economies. The ARC is now requesting proposals for an additional $20 million in funding to support worker training and economic development activities in the region. However a new study commissioned by the ARC shows that it will be difficult for the region to fully recover from coal’s collapse. The researchers said Appalachia needs to supplement and diversify its economy with a broad range of industries from manufacturing to tourism and food. But despite the challenges, researcher Mark Burton said Appalachians have some things going for them. “Appalachians in general are very stubborn, they want what they want and will work for it and wait for it more than almost any other segment of the population,” Burton said. Becca Shimmel reports from the Ohio Valley ReSource.
February 22, 2018