March 25, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has requested that 120 million dollars in federal funding go to the Appalachian Regional Commission in 14 Counties, including Steuben and Allegany Counties. Gillibrand says the money will go towards infrastructure and job training.
“Investments like this one would help boost the economy in Upstate New York, revitalize our communities, attract new businesses, and create jobs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I will continue to fight for this funding in the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bill to support investments in infrastructure, job training, and other critical resources to create thriving businesses in Upstate New York.”
Full text of the Senator’s letter is included below:
Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein,
We are writing to request the Subcommittee’s support in FY 2017 for the budget request of Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
The budget request of $120 million for ARC in FY 2017 includes $70 million for ARC’s base area development activities, which support economic development efforts across Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. The budget request also includes an additional $50 million for the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, a multi-agency initiative targeting federal resources to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal-powered plant operations, and coal-related supply-chain industries.
We further support Congress’s efforts to enhance high speed broadband in the distressed counties of the Central Appalachian Region and workforce development South and Central Appalachia targeted to the automotive and aviation supplier industries. The FAST Act includes a section that would enable the Appalachian Regional Commission to assist in extending access to broadband communication networks in communities across Appalachia. The impact that improved access to high-speed broadband can have on economic development in rural Appalachia cannot be overstated. Broadband expands access to education, health care, e-commerce, and new precision agriculture technologies, allowing rural Americans to participate in economic and social activities far beyond where they live.
Since 1965, ARC has invested in thousands of community-based projects that have contributed to economic growth in Appalachia by training workers, creating jobs, and attracting additional investment capital to the Region. In fiscal year 2015 for example, ARC approved more than $101 million in funding for 466 non-highway projects in the Region. These investments will help create or retain more than 23,000 jobs, train more than 23,000 students and workers, attract an additional $204.9 million in non-ARC project funding, and leverage $765.8 million in private investments in Appalachia – nearly ten times the federal appropriation.
We thank you for your past support of the ARC and hope that you will continue to the Commission in this coming Fiscal Year.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
United States Senator
March 25, 2016