CSPDC Receives $100,000 Grant to Help Appalachian Communities Access More Federal Funds

This award will help the CSPDC expand technical assistance for its ARC communities of Bath, Highland, Rockbridge, Buena Vista, and Lexington seeking federal funding.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), in partnership with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, recently announced the award of nearly $2.5 million in funding to 26 Local Development Districts (LDDs) in nine Appalachian states. The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) received $100,000 and was one of six awards in Virginia. The award will help expand CSPDC staffing capacity to better support eligible localities throughout the region in identifying, accessing, and implementing federal funding through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and other funding sources.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency representing a unique partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co‐chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi‐county Local Development Districts (LDDs) with support from community, business, and civic leaders. Each year Congress appropriates funds for ARC programs, which ARC allocates among its member states for economic development programs such as a safe and efficient highway system; education, job‐training, and health care programs; water and sewer systems; and entrepreneurial and capital market development.

The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) has served as the Local Development District (LDD) since 1980. Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, this LDD includes five ARC communities: Bath County, Highland County, Rockbridge County, City of Buena Vista, and City of Lexington. There are also three incorporated towns in the district:  Glasgow, Goshen, and Monterey.

The grant award comes through READY LDDs, one of four key economic development tracks that make up READY Appalachia, ARC’s new community-capacity building initiative. The program offers free training and flexible funding for nonprofit organizations, community foundations, local governments, and LDDs located in the Appalachian Region.

“ARC remains committed to working with our partners in our Local Development Districts to build parity throughout all of Appalachia, and this latest round of funding will augment the work these Local Development Districts are doing to help their communities utilize unprecedented amounts of federal funding across the region,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin.

“This award will greatly assist the CSPDC in helping our localities identify and obtain federal funds that will be invaluable to our communities, business, and citizens as we recover from the lingering impacts of the pandemic,” said David Blanchard, CSPDC chair and Highland County supervisor.

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