Buckeye Hills awarded $1.5 million from ARC

Staff Report

RIO GRANDE — Buckeye Hills Career Center (BHCC) has been awarded $ 1.5 million by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to create sustainable, high-impact economic opportunities through high school and adult education program creation in Appalachian Region.

According to a news release, this award is part of a recently announced $21 million package supporting 21 projects serving 211 coal-impacted counties through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative.

POWER targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries. Additional support for the BHCC Appalachian Impact Initiative is provided by Gallia-Jackson-Vinton Joint Vocational School District’s (GJV-JVSD) Board of Education.

Since POWER launched in 2015, ARC has invested nearly $316.6 million in 393 projects across 358 coal-impacted counties. The nearly $73 million awarded in 2021 is projected to create/retain over 10,383 jobs and attract nearly $527.3 million in leveraged private investments.

Beginning in April 2022, the investment by ARC and BHCC would be used for the construction and implementation of a new Commercial Driving License (CDL) training complex and program, along with the creation and implementation of a Broadband Telecommunications (ground and aerial program), Heavy Equipment Operators and Engineering program, and a Heavy Diesel Mechanics program. These programs heavily emphasize new economic opportunities and highlight the cultural assets of the essential Appalachian blue-collar workers and workforce.

In addition, beginning almost immediately, the initiative will focus on improving critical infrastructure by implementing transportation services to underserved counties. Meigs and Vinton counties have been impacted by loss of coal and coal-ran industries, as well as a lack of public transportation. This investment will ensure continued access to all educational services offered by BHCC while removing a primary barrier for obtaining educational services. The BHCC’s scope of work encompasses local, state, and federal critical investment opportunities and ensures those in the Appalachian region have access to educational and economic resources that have long been missing.

Buckeye Hills Career Center would like to thank all of the staff, partner school districts, board of education members, business/industry partners, economic development partners, regional Ohio technical centers, post-secondary leaders, and local, state & federal leaders. BHCC is excited to be part of this initiative, and will continue to develop opportunities for all students and community stakeholders within the region.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development partnership 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

Information from Gallia-Jackson-Vinton Joint Vocational School District.

Staff Report