U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced $8,915,200 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for 15 West Virginia projects. The funding will support a variety of community initiatives across the state, including the Elk River Trail Foundation.
“Investing in our local communities creates good-paying jobs and spurs economic opportunity, and I’m pleased the Appalachian Regional Commission is supporting these 15 critical projects across our great state,” said Senator Manchin. “The funding announced last week will support important workforce development initiatives for a variety of high-demand fields, as well as efforts to boost financial literacy, broadband access, early childhood education, performing arts programming and more. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue advocating for resources that strengthen our communities across West Virginia and all of Appalachia.”
The Elk River Trail Foundation will receive $1,365,000. This funding will implement the recommendations from the 2022 Elk River Trail feasibility study, including a downtown facade program, expansion of business technical assistance, new wayfinding signage and the construction of five water access points and four related trailheads in the towns of Sutton, Clendenin, Gassaway and Clay.
ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative directs federal resources to economic diversification projects in Appalachian coal-impacted communities.
In addition to the ERTF the following received funding: Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, BridgeValley Community and Technical College, Mountwest Community and Technical College, West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, Marshall University Research Corporation, Wyoming County Economic Development Authority, New River Gorge Learning Co-op, Mountain CAP of West Virginia, West Virginia University, Mingo County Commission, Region 4 Planning & Development Council, Fairmont State University, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Tamarack Foundation for the Arts.
ARC’s Ready Appalachia Initiative provides funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build capacity in four key economic development pillars: nonprofits, community foundations, local governments and Local Development Districts.