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Center staff attend Appalachian Region Commission annual conference

By September 14, 2018No Comments

The Center for Rural Development staff recently attended the Appalachian Region Commission’s annual conference in Mississippi. The annual gathering brings together economic development leaders and specialists from 13 states to share information and learn about upcoming funding opportunities.


Staff members from The Center for Rural Development recently journeyed to Tupelo Mississippi to participate in an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) conference. The 2018 ARC Summit: Expanding Opportunities for Our Region’s Future, focused on key issues shaping the Region’s communities. The program highlighted best practices, emerging ideas, and lasting strategies for economic development across Appalachia.

Welcoming remarks were provided by Tim Thomas, Federal Co-Chair of ARC; and Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant who is the 2018 ARC States’ Co-Chair. They helped to set the stage for discussions that offered state, regional, and federal perspectives about Appalachia’s workforce, community development, asset management and economic growth potential.

Throughout the summit, The Center’s representatives gained a wealth of knowledge. They learned about how successful state, regional, and local workforce programs are implementing employer-driven, competitive skills training programs. Additionally, they gathered information about how Central Business Districts are generating jobs and economic opportunities through strategic downtown development in small towns and large towns alike.

According to Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center, “Attending these conferences allows us to step back and see our region from another perspective. The ideas and projects, presented by our peers in similar economic circumstances, serve to foster new and innovative ideas for helping our service area move forward.”

Over 350 community leaders, economic developers, and practitioners, from 13 states, were in attendance. Among those, Kentucky was well represented. In addition to The Center for Rural Development, representatives from Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and the Commonwealth’s Department for Local Government were also in attendance.

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