CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Gov. Jim Justice today recommended nine projects totaling over $7.1 million for inclusion in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Investment Program.
“These projects will not only address many of our community and economic development needs in the state but also take advantage of our assets so that we can continue to grow and move our economy forward,” Gov. Justice said. “We are pleased to have such a strong commitment from ARC and our local and regional partners to ensure a brighter future for West Virginia.”
The West Virginia Development Office administers the state’s ARC program, which is a partnership of federal, state and local participants providing financial and technical assistance for economic development and infrastructure projects.
Projects recommended for ARC funding include:
Woodlands Community Lenders $452,500
Mon Forest Recreational Economies Initiative
The project will provide much needed technical assistance services to small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs in and around the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. Technical assistance services include business planning, accounting training, e-commerce and marketing, and business loan packaging. The project will position entrepreneurs so they can access business loan capital to expand and start businesses. The project area includes Barbour, Grant, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, and Webster Counties.
Goodwill of KYOWVA Area $149,703
Pathways to Self-Sufficiency
The project will provide adult literacy, financial education, basic employability soft skills training, industrial certification training, and job placement through Goodwill’s Career Center and outreach training. Through this project, at least 216 individuals in Lincoln, Mingo, Wayne, and Mason Counties will receive services.
West Virginia Development Office $290,000
Consolidated Technical Assistance Grant
The West Virginia Development Office, with ARC funding assistance, will continue the Consolidated Technical Assistance program. The grant allows the West Virginia Development Office to employ staff for the purpose of planning, developing, and implementing the ARC program in West Virginia, as well as staff and technical assistance to communities participating in the West Virginia Main Street and ON TRAC programs.
West Virginia Development Office $300,000
Competitive Improvement Program
The project will provide training and consultation services to small and medium-sized firms in West Virginia to increase their competitiveness. The project will address a unique need for which no other funding sources are available. The results of these services will be a greater number of companies that are increasing the range of their market and market share, and a commensurate increase in the number of jobs retained or created.
West Virginia Development Office $125,000
The West Virginia Development Office and the Appalachian Regional Commission, in partnership with the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, have operated a mini-grant program that focuses on capacity-building projects in ARC-designated distressed counties, as well as serving non-distressed counties.These projects focus on developing local community leaders, engaging citizens in local initiatives, and strategically planning for the future.
Town of Matewan $1,540,000
Red Jacket Sanitary Sewer Project
The project will extend public wastewater service to the area of Upper Mate Creek in Mingo County. Customers currently rely upon an aging system that is now inoperable. Many customers have disconnected from the system entirely, reverting to unreliable septic systems or discharging directly into nearby streams. The project will benefit 158 existing customers.
Cowen Public Service District $1,500,000
Wastewater System Improvements
The project will extend public wastewater service to 161 new customers in the Upper Glade area of Webster County, including 4-H Camp Caesar. Customers in the area currently rely upon inadequate and failing private septic systems or discharge directly into nearby streams. This project will not only provide reliable wastewater service but will also upgrade wastewater facilities at Camp Caesar, a critical economic asset in the area.
Town of Northfork $1,800,000
Elkhorn Creek Phase 2 Water Extension
The project will extend public water service to 408 new residential and business customers in the Northfork, Keystone, Upland, Powhatan, and Kyle areas of McDowell County. Currently, customers in the project area rely upon aging and failing systems that are in very poor condition. The project will increase access to reliable and clean water for area residents and improve economic development potential along Route 52 in the county.
Town of Grantsville $1,000,000
Grantsville Water Treatment Plant Improvements
The project will upgrade the Town of Grantsville’s water treatment plant and system. Currently, the plant and system are suffering from inadequate storage capacity and plant operating deficiencies. The scope of work includes upgrading parts of the water treatment plant and constructing a new and larger water storage tank. The project will serve 1,550 existing customers.