CHARLESTON, W.Va. -Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will serve as the 2013 states' co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), effective Jan. 1, 2013. Gov. Tomblin was chosen as co-chair by the governors of the 12 other states in the Appalachian Region.
"The Appalachian Regional Commission's support for local projects has improved the quality of life for many West Virginians. I'm humbled and honored to help lead this effort," Gov. Tomblin said. "As the states' co-chair, I will work to continue the economic development and infrastructure improvements ARC has facilitated in West Virginia and throughout Appalachia."
As states' co-chair, Gov. Tomblin will serve a one year term and will work directly with ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl.Gov. Tomblin's selection was welcomed by Gohl. "ARC has a full agenda this year, and I am very excited to have Governor Tomblin as the new states' co-chair of ARC. I am looking forward to working with him and the other 12 Governors in strengthening the Appalachian Region's economy."
The West Virginia Development Office coordinates the ARC program in West Virginia. Keith Burdette, the Executive Director of the Development Office and the Cabinet Secretary of the Commerce Division, will serve as the governor's liaison to the Commission.
"The ARC is an important part of our economic development structure here in West Virginia and we look forward to the opportunity to strengthen the mission of the ARC," said Sec. Burdette.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts.
ARC funds projects that address the four goals identified in the Commission's strategic plan:
- Increase job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation.
- Strengthen the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy.
- Develop and improve Appalachia's infrastructure to make the Region economically competitive.
- Build the Appalachian Development Highway System to reduce Appalachia's isolation.
All 55 of West Virginia's counties are located within the Appalachian Region and are eligible to receive ARC funding for projects.
Amy Shuler Goodwin