October 26, 2023

The Plains, Ohio – Today, Rural Action was awarded $498,300.00 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for its new project, The New Era Planning Project. The funding was made available through ARC’s Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) which drives large-scale economic transformation through multi-state collaboration.

Rural Action, along with partners in Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Ohio, will build on CAN’s more than thirty years of collaborative work between organizations focused on enhancing and enriching the assets of Central Appalachia. This opportunity will allow organizations to increase the capacity of their sector-based working groups and scale-up community-based initiatives.

“The Central Appalachian Network works across the region to strengthen and diversify the region’s economy, in sectors that include clean energy and local food systems.” said Debbie Phillips, CEO of Rural Action. “Networks are powerful tools to support local efforts, and we are so excited to have support of a planning grant from the ARC to develop the path forward for significant growth of our proven strategies.”

The project is funded through ARISE, ARC’s initiative to drive large-scale, regional economic transformation. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, ARC launched ARISE in August of 2022 to strengthen Appalachian business and industry, and to grow and support the development of new economic opportunities across multiple states.  A total of $227 million has been made available through ARISE to date.

Additional information about ARC’s ARISE funding opportunity for multi-state collaboration is available here.

Rural Action was awarded on behalf of the Central Appalachian Network (CAN). The Central Appalachian Network (CAN) works to advance the equitable, just, and sustainable economic transition of Central Appalachia. By maximizing the impact of their collective work, we can all create resilient, diverse, and inclusive communities throughout our region. Learn more about CAN’s work here.

Rural Action is a regional community development organization with a 32-county footprint working with members and community leaders on a range of quality of life, environmental, and economic projects across rural Appalachian Ohio. Its mission is to build a more just economy by developing the region’s assets in environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways. Learn more about Rural Action at



Debbie Phillips