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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. Congress established ARC to bring the region into socioeconomic parity with the rest of the nation.
|Predecessor||Council of Appalachian Governors, President's Appalachian Regional Commission|
|Formation||March 9, 1965|
|Purpose||To innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.|
|Headquarters||1666 Connecticut Ave NW|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Gayle Conelly Manchin|
The Appalachian Region, as defined by Congress, includes all of West Virginia and portions of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. ARC serves 420 counties that encompass roughly 205,000 square miles (530,000 km2), with a population of more than 25 million people.
The Appalachian Regional Commission has 14 members: the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. A professional staff carries out the work of the Commission.
The current federal co-chair is Gayle Conelly Manchin. Manchin was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Senate on April 29, 2021 by voice vote. The 2021 states' co-chair was Virginia Governor Ralph Northam prior to the expiration of his term following the 2021 election. Grassroots participation is provided through 73 local development districts, which are multi-county organizations with boards made up of elected officials, business people, and other local leaders. The ARC is a planning, research, advocacy, and funding organization. It does not have any governing power within the region.