Top Issues for Appalachia: Results from ARC Webinars

Results from the ARC's Webinar Planning Process are now available, on their website as well as below:

In June 2010 the Appalachian Regional Commission held a series of webinars to obtain citizen input for a six-year (2011–2016) strategic plan that will guide future ARC economic and community development efforts in the Appalachian Region. These webinars provided an opportunity for residents of Appalachia to contribute to a plan that will address issues, opportunities, and challenges the Region will face over the next six years. (ARC's current strategic plan, Moving Appalachia Forward, covers the period 2005 to 2010.)

To accommodate all participants from the general public in Appalachia and to better analyze input geographically, ARC conducted a webinar for each of the three Appalachian subregions of Northern, Central, and Southern Appalachia. It conducted a fourth webinar targeted to members of the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA).

The webinars' more than 300 participants were able to provide input on a variety of key issues facing the Region via electronic polling and online comments. The issues included, but were not limited to, jobs and business development; infrastructure and capital; community and leadership development; education, training, and health; the environment; and energy.

The lists below detail the priority issues identified by participants of each of the four webinars. This information will be presented at the August 5 ARC meeting in Clyde, North Carolina, and will inform the development of the Commission's new strategic plan.

DDAA Webinar: Tuesday, June 8, 2010

 

  • Assisting existing businesses in the Appalachian Region
  • Extending infrastructure to support job creation
  • Developing regional solutions to problems
  • Recruiting new industries to Appalachia
  • Investing in long-term planning and strategic planning
  • Developing public/private partnerships
  • Improving efficiency of existing water/sewerage systems
  • Diversifying the local economic base
  • Improving the energy efficiency of buildings
  • Encouraging sustainable economic use of natural resources

 

Southern Appalachia Webinar: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

(This webinar included residents of the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.)

 

  • Growing jobs with local assets and local resources
  • Investing in clinical care in areas without basic services
  • Improving the college graduation rate for Appalachia
  • Investing in high-tech worker training and retraining
  • Promoting an entrepreneurial education at all levels of education
  • Diversifying the local economic base
  • Developing regional solutions to problems
  • Assisting existing businesses in the Appalachian Region
  • Investing in long term planning and strategic planning
  • Developing public/private partnerships
  • Encouraging sustainable economic use of natural resources

 

Central Appalachia Webinar: Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(This webinar included residents of the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.)

 

  • Diversifying the local economic base
  • Growing jobs with local assets and local resources
  • Developing regional solutions to problems
  • Encouraging sustainable economic use of natural resources
  • Assisting existing businesses in the Appalachian Region
  • Improving the college graduation rate for Appalachia
  • Investing in long-term planning and strategic planning
  • Investing in clinical care in areas without basic services
  • Preventing the pollution of surface water and ground water
  • Conserving the natural places in Appalachia for ecotourism

 

Northern Appalachia Webinar: Thursday, June 17, 2010

(This webinar included residents of the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland.)

 

  • Assisting existing businesses in the Appalachian Region
  • Investing in broadband infrastructure
  • Growing jobs with local assets and local resources
  • Investing in clinical care in areas without basic services
  • Diversifying the local economic base
  • Developing public/private partnerships
  • Developing regional solutions to problems
  • Recruiting new industries to Appalachia
  • Increasing the availability of capital
  • Conserving the natural places in Appalachia for ecotourism

 

Kristin Tracz

About Kristin Tracz

Kristin Tracz served MACED’s Research and Policy team from 2009-2012 working on clean energy policy, energy efficiency programs and the Appalachian Transition Initiative. She joined MACED after finishing her Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She now lives and works in Washington, DC.