POWER Initiative

Agency: Appalachian Regional Commission

Description: The Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative makes available federal resources to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production and the coal economy. POWER supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and reemployment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment.

Eligible applicants:

  • Local development districts
  • Federally-recognized Tribes or a consortium of Tribes
  • States, counties, cities, or other political subdivisions of a state or a consortium of political subdivisions
  • Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education
  • Public or private non-profit organizations or associations

Eligible activities: The POWER Initiative will support implementation and technical assistance projects that address at least one of ARC’s Strategic Investment Goals and one or more of the program’s Investment Priorities including:

  • Building a competitive workforce
  • Fostering entrepreneurial activities
  • Developing industry clusters in communities
  • Strengthening substance abuse response
  • Broadband

In order to maximize the impact of the POWER Initiative’s investments on the economic transition of coal-impacted communities, the agency will review proposals that successful address the following factors:

  • Large-scale projects
  • Include assessment and planning
  • Market analysis
  • Targeted to economic and community restructuring
  • Collaborative
  • Evidence of leverage
  • Sustainability
  • Organizational Capacity
  • Return on investment

For a detailed description of eligible grant activities, review the guidelines in 2020 POWER Request for Proposals (pages 3-14).

Award ceiling (MAX):

  • $2.5 million (for broadband deployment projects)
  • $1.5 million (for implementation projects)
  • $50,000 (for technical assistance projects)

Award floor (MIN): $0*

*The agency will award up to $50,000 for technical assistance projects and expects to make individual implementation awards between $400,000 – $2.5 million, but the award floor is not specified in the 2020 POWER Request for Proposals. ARC reserves the right to negotiate budget costs with the applicants that have been selected to receive awards.

FY 2020 Funding availability: $48 million

Application cycle: January 13 – April 24, 2020*

*A Letter of Intent was due on February 28, 2020. The submission of a Letter of Intent is required before you can apply.

Special considerations:

  • Dependent on the applicant’s county, a minimum 20% match is required. The required match is determined by ARC’s economic distress designations for FY 2020.
  • POWER projects must be located within and targeted to communities or regions that have been recently impacted (or can reasonably demonstrate that they will be impacted in the near future) by coal-mining or coal-power plant employment loss or employment loss in the supply-chain industries.
    • Applicants will be required to provide evidence of economic impact.
      • Economic indicators, labor market analyses, official announcements made by local and regional industries and firms, demographic data, and industry data are strong sources of data to demonstrate these impacts.
  • To qualify for broadband deployment funding (up to $2.5 million), at least 65% of the project’s budget must be directed to the actual deployment of broadband infrastructure.
  • Application narratives are limited to 15 pages.
  • Applications will first be reviewed by ARC Alternates of the states in which the project’s activities and impacts are located. Then ARC program staff, state ARC officials, and external subject matter experts will jointly review and score applications based on the evaluation criteria included in the 2020 POWER Request for Proposals (page 16).

More information: Visit HERE

Who can tell me more?

To apply:

  • Submit your Letter of Intent by February 28, 2020 to bkoerwitz@arc.gov.
    • For prospective applicants who have already submitted a Letter of Intent, you may file a revised LOI by April 15, 2020 so long as it meets the requirements of the 2020 program guidelines.
  • Visit HERE