ARC invests in the region’s economic and community development projects using grants secured by Congressionally appropriated funds. To secure funding, all ARC grant applications must align with the investment priorities outlined in ARC’s current Strategic Plan and reflect state plans and strategies. ARC is also known for their focus on research and evaluation exploring and sharing data-driven information on topics directly impacting economic development in the Appalachian Region. ARC funds are part of a unique federal-state partnership, and for this reason ARC’s grant application process begins at the state government level with the Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia (GOA) in the Ohio Department of Development. OVRDC coordinates the ARC program grant process with GOA.
ARC State Grants: Governor’s Office of Appalachia
The mission of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia (GOA) is to support local, regional, state and federal initiatives that help the people of Ohio’s Appalachian Region attain economic prosperity. GOA collaborates with Ohio’s four Local Development Districts (LDD) to prioritize projects and administer ARC state project funds, working together to execute these five goals in Ohio:
- Building Appalachian Businesses – Investments in entrepreneurship and home-grown business development helps communities build sustainable, diverse economies.
- Building Appalachia’s Workforce Ecosystem – Expanding and strengthening community systems, including education, healthcare, housing and childcare, will help Appalachians obtain a job, stay on the job, and advance their careers.
- Building Appalachia’s Infrastructure – Access to reliable and affordable utilities and infrastructure ensure that Appalachia’s residents can successfully live and work in the Region.
- Building Regional Culture and Tourism – Preserving and investing in the Region’s local, cultural heritage, and natural assets will strengthen Appalachia’s economic potential.
- Building Community Leaders and Capacity – Investing in the capacity of local leaders, organizations, and communities to address local challenges will strengthen the Region’s economic prosperity.
In addition to partnering with Ohio’s four LDDs, the Governor’s Office of Appalachia also partners with local organizations, agencies, and individuals working to foster economic growth and improve the quality of life for all citizens in the region.
OVRDC is a Local Development District Connecting you to Federal and State ARC Funds
OVRDC is designated as a Local Development District (LDD), serving eleven ARC eligible counties in southern Ohio. Contacting OVRDC is the first step eligible applicants take to access federal and state grant funds through the ARC Area Development program. Eligible applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to OVRDC for any projects, either state or federal, that may seek ARC funding. Pre applications are competitive within the 11 ARC eligible counites within the OVRDC region, which include Adams, Brown, Clermont, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Gallia, Scioto, and Vinton. Pre applications will be submitted to OVRDC by the May deadline and pre applications will then be scored by OVRDC staff using the scoring table publicly postedhttps://www.ovrdc.org/media/Scoring-rubric-with-explanation.pdf.
OVRDC helps applicants access Area Development funds from both federal and state ARC programs that support the mission and scope of investment priorities outlined in the ARC Strategic Plan. ARC investments commonly fall into project types and please consult these documents which highlight pertinent information including project examples, key investment principles, project considerations, and links to additional resources.
ARC Federal Grants: Area Development Program
ARC’s Area Development program makes investments in several general project areas and consists of Construction or Non-Construction (equipment only) projects.
- Critical infrastructure – investments mainly include water and wastewater systems, transportation networks, broadband, and other projects anchoring regional economic development
- Business and workforce development – investments primarily focus on entrepreneurship, worker training and education, food systems, leadership, and other human capital development
- Access roads – projects which serve industrial and commercial areas, residential developments, recreational areas, and educational areas. Local access road funds may also be used for preliminary engineering, right-of-way and/or construction.
- Distressed counties – specific ARC Area Development funds are set aside for exclusive access, available only to ARC-designated Distressed Counties. Scioto County is designated Distressed in FY 2024.
Join us Wednesday mornings for online office hours and a Q&A session to learn more about the ARC program and get real-time help with developing your application. Watch the first week Q&A held on February 14, 2024, on demand on our YouTube channel.