ARC Co-Chairs Gov. Andy Beshear, Gayle Manchin: 2023 Annual Conference To Be Held in Ashland in September
Governors, state partners, economic development experts will convene for two days
ASHLAND, Ky. (March 21, 2023) – Today, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) states’ co-chair Gov. Andy Beshear and federal co-chair Gayle Manchin convened at the Delta Hotel in downtown Ashland, Kentucky, to announce the ARC 2023 annual conference will be held Sept. 11 and 12 in Ashland.
The conference theme is “Appalachia Rises: Resilience, Strength & Transformation,” and the event will bring together officials from many of the ARC’s 13 states as well as hundreds of partners and economic development experts. Together, attendees will work to strengthen Appalachia by creating and expanding workforce development, growing sectors like outdoor recreation, developing entrepreneurs and building leadership and community capacity.
In January, Gov. Beshear was chosen by his fellow Appalachian governors to co-chair the ARC this year.
“It’s fitting that the conference theme this year focuses on resilience,” said Gov. Beshear. “Last year, Eastern Kentucky was hit by the worst flooding in our state’s history. As we recover together, the strength and spirit of our people have been amazing. We’re excited to welcome hundreds to Ashland for this great event, and we’re ready to continue our work with the ARC as we rebuild and transform our Appalachian region.”
“Collaboration has always been the key to growth in the Appalachian Region,” said Manchin, the ARC federal co-chair. “As such, ARC looks forward to the opportunity to gather in Ashland with our partners from across all of our region’s 13 states for our annual conference. This convening will allow ARC’s local, state and federal partners to come together to share ideas, foster support and create forward-thinking plans for Appalachia’s bright future, all while enjoying the natural beauty of Eastern Kentucky.”
Today, ARC has also opened the call for conference programming. Programming submissions are due April 21, 2023. More details about the conference program and how to register will be released this summer.
“We are thrilled and honored to host the Appalachian Regional Commission annual conference in Ashland,” said Mayor Matt Perkins. “This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our community leaders, who have been working tirelessly to promote economic growth and improve the lives of all our citizens. We look forward to showcasing all that Kentucky and Ashland have to offer and highlighting the important work being done by the ARC throughout the Appalachian region.”
In 2022, Kentucky received $51,127,188 in ARC funding. That funding went toward projects like the construction of a water treatment plant, a new steel facility and improvements at Breaks Interstate Park. In FY 2022, ARC invested nearly $240 million throughout the entire Appalachian region, which attracted an additional $1.57 billion in private investments.
About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.