Governor Wolf Named 2017 Appalachian Regional Commission Co-Chair

Harrisburg, PA – Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl announced today that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has been selected by his fellow Appalachian governors to serve as the ARC states’ co-chair for 2017. As states’ co-chair, the governor will work directly with ARC’s federal co-chair to further the agency’s commitment to economic growth and development across the Appalachian Region.

“As states’ co-chair, Governor Wolf will bring energy, ideas, and a deep understanding of Appalachia’s challenges and opportunities to the commission,” said Gohl. “His ongoing commitment to impactful economic development makes him a great choice for this leadership position.”

“It’s an honor to be selected represent the interests of the ARC states,” said Governor Wolf. “I look forward to working with the organization to promote and support projects that have significant impacts on the region including those that foster business development and job creation, spur the growth and availability of community resources and infrastructure, and improve areas that increase overall well-being like access to health care and initiatives that address school readiness.”

Governor Wolf is ARC’s 64th states’ co-chair and the fourth Governor from Pennsylvania to hold the position. The last ARC states’ co-chair from Pennsylvania was former Governor Bob Casey who held the position in 1990. Wolf’s term as states’ co-chair extends through the end of 2017. Governor Wolf succeeds Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee in this position. Fifty-two counties in Pennsylvania are included in ARC’s footprint. The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) facilitates ARC’s work in the Keystone State.

“Over the years, ARC has provided funding for numerous Pennsylvania projects that have encouraged economic prosperity in those counties within the commonwealth’s Appalachian region. ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative, for example, has contributed significantly to the availability of alternative solutions for businesses and individuals negatively affected by the declining coal industry,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “This year, six new POWER projects were approved for funding in Pennsylvania. We are grateful for this support and look forward to the positive results these projects have – encouraging stronger communities and contributing to the overall well-being of the commonwealth.” 

Since its formation in 1965, ARC has invested in hundreds of community-based projects contributing to the economic growth of the Appalachian Region annually by training workers, creating jobs, and attracting additional investment capital. In fiscal year 2016 alone, ARC approved nearly $110 million in funding for 473 non-highway projects in the region. These investments will help create or retain more than 18,800 jobs; train more than 46,000 students, workers, and leaders with new skills; attract an additional $174.6 million in other project funding; and leverage nearly $350 million in private investments in Appalachia. These investments were made in were made in concordance with ARC’s Five Year Strategic Plan for Capitalizing on Appalachia’s Opportunities.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments, focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. For additional information on ARC, visit www.arc.gov.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116
Wendy Wasserman, ARC, 202-884-7771 
David Misner, DCED, 717-783-1132

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