Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear named as ARC state's co-chair

Jan. 10—Will serve with West Virginia's Gayle Manchin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has been named the state's co-chair to the Appalachian Regional Commission, the entity that helps Appalachian Ohio with numerous grants to build the economy and community growth.

That means that the agency that covers 13 states is now chaired by representatives from Kentucky and West Virginia.

"I am honored to have been chosen by governors of both parties to co-chair the Appalachian Regional Commission. ARC investments are building better lives for current and future generations here in Kentucky and across the ARC region," said Beshear. "Access to quality health care, a good paying job and clean water should not be determined by your zip code. I want to thank my fellow ARC governors for entrusting me with this role and look forward to continuing our important work together."

Gov. Beshear will serve as ARC's 70th states' co-chair and the first from Kentucky since his father, former Gov. Steven Beshear, served in the role in 2015.

As part of ARC's unique federal-state partnership structure, the states' co-chair works collaboratively with the ARC federal co-chair and fellow Appalachian state governors to invest in economic and community growth across the region's 423 counties in 13 states. In addition to facilitating ARC investments across the region, the states' co-chair hosts ARC's annual conference.

"It is my honor to welcome Gov. Beshear as ARC's 2023 states' co-chair," said ARC Federal co-chair Gayle Manchin. "I look forward to continuing to collaborate with him and all of our Appalachian governors as we advance ARC's mission to bring economic parity and transformational opportunities to the region's 26 million people. On behalf of the commission, I also want to thank Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland for his work during his tenure as 2022 states' co-chair."

In FY 2022, ARC invested nearly $240 million throughout the region, which attracted an additional $1.57 billion in private investments. The projects funded in FY 2022 will create or retain nearly 22,600 jobs, and provide training to over 41,500 students, workers, and leaders for new opportunities in emerging sectors across the Appalachian region.

ARC also launched two new funding opportunities in FY 2022—the ARC for Stronger Economies (ARISE), a $73.5 million funding opportunity to drive economic growth through large-scale, multi-state collaborations; and READY Appalachia, a community capacity-building initiative offering flexible funding to Appalachian nonprofits, community foundations, local governments and local development districts.