RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin has announced more than $4 million in grants will go toward supporting workforce development, community revitalization and health services in the Appalachian region.

“The downturn of the coal industry has impacted regional economies across Appalachia, making regional partnerships and collaborative community efforts more important than ever as we diversify the Appalachian economy,” Youngkin said. “Not only will these projects support economic growth and development in Appalachian communities, but they are in line with my administration’s 2022 Virginia Energy Plan, focusing on a more realistic and dynamic future for Virginia’s energy production and consumption.”

The grants come from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC), Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative.

The ARC POWER Initiative is congressionally funded and provides economic aid to coal communities affected by the country’s changing energy production. 

2022 ARC POWER Virginia Awardees:

  • $1,500,000 for food sector workforce expansion in Central Appalachia
  • $1,500,000 for New River Water Trail expansion project
  • $655,000 for Dick and Willie Passage Trail 6A Completion
  • $500,000 for expansion of dental services for Central Appalachia

ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government that includes 13 state governments and 423 counties across the region — in Virginia, 25 counties and eight cities comprise the ARC region.