The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a United States federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life. The Commission is a partnership of 406 counties and the governors of West Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, and a presidential appointee representing the federal government. Grassroots participation is provided through local development districts, which are multi-county organizations with boards made up of elected officials, businesspeople, and other local leaders. The mission of ARC is to be a strategic partner and advocate for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia. The ARC is a planning, research, advocacy and funding organization; it does not have any governing powers within the region
ARC undertakes projects that address the four goals identified by ARC in its 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.
To meet these goals, ARC helps fund such projects as education and workforce training programs, highway construction, water and sewer system construction, small business start-ups and expansions, and development of health care resources