ARC awards $5.7 Million in POWER Grants across Ohio

Staff Report

CINCINNATI — In a news release on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) applauded the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for awarding seven Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) grants totaling $5.7 million to organizations across Ohio.

POWER grants are a congressionally funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. These funds will give the organizations listed below the ability to support Ohio communities with emerging world-class technology to help ensure economic development and job creation.

“The $5.7 million in federal ARC POWER grants is great news because it will help ensure that these organizations across Ohio have the resources needed to expand world-class technology in their regions, to support entrepreneurship, and thus help ensure economic development and job creation in these towns and local communities,” said Portman.

“POWER grants are playing a critical role in supporting coal-impacted communities in the Appalachian Region as they recover from COVID-19 by building and expanding critical infrastructure and creating new economic opportunities through innovative and transformative approaches,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “Projects like this are getting Appalachia back to work.”

The grant recipients are listed below:

$1,498,637 to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to grow the capital resources available to social enterprises available in Appalachian Ohio and West Virginia. Among other activities, the grant will support the formation of an investment fund to attract private capital.

$1,180,000 to Vinton County Commissioners to place three communication towers in Vinton and Meigs counties to provide wireless broadband service to unserved areas in the two counties.

$1,000,000 to Appalachian Growth Capital to expand access to capital for small businesses in Appalachian Ohio through technical assistance to potential business borrowers and by increasing the capital available in AGC’s loan fund.

$514,827 to ACENet to strengthen the value-added hardwood manufactured products sector in Southeast Ohio.

$50,000 to Noble County Commissioners for a feasibility study of broadband expansion in Noble County.

$1,450,000 to Eastgate Council of Governments to install 10 miles of fiber conduit in downtown Youngstown as the first step toward establishing a broadband network to help revitalize the Youngstown Central business district. In April 2020, Portman sent a letter to EDA’s regional director in support of this grant.

$49,950 to Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center to develop a framework for leveraging the burgeoning energy storage cluster in the tri-state area.

Information provided by the office of Senator Rob Portman.

Staff Report