Program Overview

This $500 million program provides planning and development grants for communities located in Ohio’s 32-county Appalachian region. Program funds are provided by Ohio’s designation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. The program is administered by the Governor’s Office of Appalachia within the Ohio Department of Development. Projects should be designed to bring about transformational change and be a catalyst for future development by providing generational investments in the Appalachian region. 

Eligible Projects

Appalachian plans and implementation projects must include components from three funding priorities:

  • Infrastructure, such as main street or downtown redevelopment, improvements to multi-community connecting trails, significant outdoor community space, links to community arts, history and culture, access to telemedicine.

  • Workforce, such as public-private partnerships designed to build and coordinate technical, educational, clinical and workforce infrastructure.

  • Healthcare, such as investments in school or community-based services to address children’s physical and behavioral health needs or plans to address substance use disorder.

Eligible Applicants

Entities must be exclusively within the 32-county Ohio Appalachian region. Local units of government and government-related entities are eligible to serve as Lead Applicants for a project. Local Development Districts (LDDs) like OVRDC, Educational institutions and nonprofits are also Eligible Lead Applicants. Additional details can be found the program guidelines.


Appalachian Planning Grants

Appalachian planning funding will be utilized through two ways: one round of Appalachian Technical Assistance Grants and a community planner. A total of $30 million dollars of funding will be available at the ODOD’s Director’s discretion based on the demand of the program, with $8 million dedicated to the Appalachian Technical Assistance Grants.

  • Appalachian Technical Assistance Grants: $250,000 per county

These grants are available for each county to assist Eligible Lead Applicants with technical assistance costs associated with the planning and design of eligible development projects, and/or coordination with the procured planner.

ODOD has retained dedicated planning professionals to assist the region with the design of eligible projects. Learn more about the procured planners.

Appalachian Development Grants

Funding for Appalachian Development Grants will be available through multiple application rounds as needed until all funds have been awarded.

  • There is no cap on Appalachian Development Grants, but program activities must total at least $1 million or more to be eligible for consideration.
  • Awarded Appalachian Development Grant projects must be complete by October 31, 2026.

Application Timeline

ODOD encourages applicants to work with their Local Development District and ODOD procured planners to compile and complete their applications. OVRDC is the Local Development District for Adams, Brown, Clermont, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties.

Applicants can utilize a network of resources to support the development of their project.

Round 2 Development Grants

  • Application Opens – November 2023

  • Application Deadline – Early January 2024

  • Announce First Round Awards – Early 2024s

Appalachian Community Grant Program FAQs updated August 2023

OVRDC hosts bi-weekly update meetings to share information and project planning among all the partners, procured planners, development and community leaders.  The FAQs are generated from these meetings and submitted to the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, Office of Budget & Management or Department of Development for final answers. Stay up to date and watch past meetings on your schedule. Scroll down to access the recordings.

OVRDC Convened Bi-Weekly Stakeholder Informational Meetings

Update #12

October 13, 2023

Update #4  

May 26, 2023

Update #11 

September 29, 2023

Update #7 

July 21, 2023

Update #3 

May 12, 2023

Update #10 

September 15, 2023

Update #6 

July 7, 2023

Update #2

April 28, 2023

Update #9 

August 18, 2023

Update #5 

June 9, 2023

Update #1 

April 14, 2023

To sign up for the update meetings or for more information contact John Hemmings, OVRDC Executive Director, at (740) 947-2853, or call OVRDC’s ACGP program consultant Ken Reed at 740-856-9738.