Press Releases

U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) announced today that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), in conjunction with other local entities, has awarded $250,000 to the Center for Rural Development (Center) for its Implementing Community Strategies Program. These funds will support fifteen mini-grants for nearby, distressed communities to develop strategic plans for economic development. In addition, a portion of this funding will provide training to over 200 local leaders in business and community development.

“There is no doubt that this uncertain economy and the drying up of financial capital have created many barriers for our communities, small businesses, and families,” said Rogers. “I applaud the Center’s measurable efforts to empower our community leaders and invest in our rural cities and counties with tools necessary to grow businesses, create jobs, and fuel lasting development. ARC has been a great resource for our region as we work through these tough times together to ensure a bright future for southern and eastern Kentucky.”

ARC’s Distressed Counties grant program targets special resources to the most economically distressed counties in Appalachia, using three economic indicators: three-year average unemployment rates, per capita market income and poverty rates. This project builds on the Center’s efforts to provide assistance to distressed communities by implementing comprehensive strategic plans that promote economic growth. The Center is also encouraging the use of technology solutions in the implementation and execution of these plans. Additionally, this program will provide training for community leaders so that they have all the information and resources to ensure their strategic plans reach their maximum potential.

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers and other leaders, the Center for Rural Development is a non-profit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in southern and eastern Kentucky. In its 42-county primary service region, the Center provides innovative programs in leadership, development, advanced telecommunications, technology, public safety and a variety of performing arts and cultural events. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information visit