Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)


The Appalachian Region, as defined in ARC’s authorizing legislation, is a 205,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Each year in Pennsylvania, ARC provides funding for numerous projects in the Appalachian Region in a wide range of program areas. The projects funded in the program areas create thousands of new jobs, improve local water and sewer systems, increase school readiness, expand access to health care, assist local communities with strategic planning and provide technical and managerial assistance to emerging businesses.


The state will look favorably at projects where there are new business start-ups and job creation and at those projects that will enhance the community and economic vitality of the state. When approving a particular project, the state will also consider whether the project will improve, on a continuing rather than a temporary basis, the opportunities for employment and the average level of income or economic and social development of the area served by the project.

  1. Technical assistance projects that:
    • Provide services to a community or region to enhance business development
    • Meet the criteria for immediate, permanent job creation/retention or strategic plan implementation
  2. Construction and infrastructure development Including site preparation, water, sewer, broadband, or other needed improvements.
  3. Industrial site development
  4. Local access road (only road construction-related activities)
  5. Local government assistance projects providing for service consolidation, management assistance or any other arrangements directed to more effective delivery of programs and services.
  6. Acquisition and development business incubator or multi-tenant facilities
  7. Destination or asset-based tourism
  8. Not-for-profit entities

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awards grants and contracts from funds appropriated to the Commission annually by Congress. ARC funds are leveraged with other federal, state and local money to provide a broad array of small business assistance to the Appalachian region. The priorities for investment of ARC resources are determined essentially to accomplish five long-term strategic goals for Pennsylvania’s economy:

GOAL 1: Economic Opportunities
  • Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia’s economy.
GOAL 2: Ready Workforce
  • Increase the education, knowledge, skills, and health of residents to work and succeed in Appalachia.
GOAL 3: Critical Infrastructure
  • Invest in critical infrastructure—especially broadband; transportation (including the Appalachian Development Highway System); and water/wastewater systems.
GOAL 4: Natural and Cultural Assets
  • Strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by leveraging the Region’s natural and cultural heritage assets.
GOAL 5: Leadership and Community Capacity
  • Build the capacity and skills of current and next-generation leaders and organizations to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development.

Restricted to activities under the Appalachian Regional Development Act (ARDA) identified in Pennsylvania’s ARC Guidelines.

Additional Information
Back To Top