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The New York Department of State announced the availability of up to $65 million in grants in fiscal year 2023 for coal-impacted communities across Appalachia, including in the Southern Tier and Western New York regions.
The funding is being made available by the Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) through a request for proposals for its POWER Initiative, which is designed to support economic diversification throughout designated Appalachian communities that have experienced job losses in mining, power plant operations and supply chain fields related to the coal industry.
“New York is committed to helping uplift communities that have been affected by the downturn of the coal industry,” Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said. “This grant funding will help these communities adapt and better prepare for the economy of tomorrow, in turn making the entire region and state stronger and more sustainable for the future.”
The POWER Initiative – or Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization – provides federal resources to leverage entrepreneurship, workforce development efforts and infrastructure projects to bolster job training and reemployment opportunities, create jobs in existing or new industries, and attract new sources of private investment in coal-impacted communities. To date, POWER has invested $5.5 million into nine projects across the state’s Southern Tier and Western New York regions, making improvements to broadband connectivity and assisting to prepare individuals for careers in entrepreneurship, broadband, tourism and other sectors. A list of these projects is available here.
Eligible applicants for ARC’s POWER Initiative include:
√ Local development districts;
√ Indian tribes or a consortium of Indian tribes;
√ States, counties, cities or other political subdivision of a state, including a special purpose unit of a state or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
√ Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; and
√ Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations.
New York counties eligible for ARC grants include Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins.
Letters of intent for implementation grants up to $1.5 million and planning grants up to $50,000 under POWER are due by 5 p.m. March 8, and can be submitted via ARC’s online form. Final applications are due by 5 p.m. April 19, and can be submitted via ARC’s online portal. Award announcements are anticipated to be made in the fall of 2023. Additional information regarding the application process is available at www.arc.gov/power.
A press release stated, “Applications should demonstrate the ability to produce diverse economic development outcomes, including diversifying commercial and industrial bases of local and regional economies, creating well-paying jobs in new or emerging industries, expanding workforce service and skills training, and attracting new sources of public and private investment. Proposals may also include plans to integrate multiple economic development systems and support the implementation of existing economic development strategic plans on a local, regional or federal level.”
There will be a virtual preapplication workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 21, for prospective participants, as well as three in-person preapplication workshops. ARC staff will outline key points in the new RFP, and the characteristics of a successful application. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask their questions during an interactive Q&A session. Those interested may register at: https://www.arc.gov/event/getting-the-grant-successfully-applying-for-arc-funding-opportunities/.
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 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.
New York’s 14-county ARC program is administered within the DOS Division of Local Government Services and is assisted at the local level by the region’s three local development districts. For more information on programs administered by the Department of State’s Division of Local Government Services, go to https://dos.ny.gov/services-and-support.