Build & Grow Relationships

The best policies are based on data-driven research, using engaged, diverse stakeholders and by fostering thought that motivates people to think regionally. It is a process that CREC has done successfully since 2009, and it has helped expand our client base and grow communities. Clients vary from single municipalities and private-sector firms:

• Cities • Think tanks
• States • National organizations

Client Profile

Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts.

Each year ARC provides funding for several hundred projects in the Appalachian Region, in areas such as business development, education and job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing, and transportation. These projects create thousands of new jobs; improve local water and sewer systems; increase school readiness; expand access to health care; assist local communities with strategic planning; and provide technical and managerial assistance to emerging businesses.


Project Catalogue

Developing Regional Ecosystems to Support Recovery-to-Work Part II
Start Date: May 2021 — End Date: Dec 2023

CREC is providing technical assistance and peer-based learning to assist local development districts (LDDs) in building regional collaboration to help those in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) transition to or maintain work opportunities. With support from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and partnering with the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA), CREC is supporting […]

Developing Regional Ecosystems to Support Recovery-to-Work
Start Date: Nov 2019 — End Date: Apr 2021

CREC provided technical assistance and generated lessons learned from the experience in local development districts (LDDs) in how to help businesses and individuals succeed in their recovery from substance abuse disorder. Providing staff support to the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA), CREC assisted four LDDs through a year-long process of articulating the challenge, identifying […]

ARC Entrepreneurial Benchmark Update 2018-2020
Start Date: Oct 2018 — End Date: Jun 2020

CREC, worked with EntreWorks Consulting, continued their work in promoting entrepreneurial efforts in the Appalachian Region by maintaining a database of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, updating research on the region’s economic dynamism, and maintaining a web presence at for the entrepreneurial directory and the entrepreneurial index (updated through 2017).

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Appalachia
Start Date: Oct 2016 — End Date: Mar 2018

CREC partnered with EntreWorks Consulting and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to provide insight on entrepreneurial resources across Appalachia, which covers 420 counties across 13 states. The team provided a comprehensive view of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystems by providing research findings on entrepreneurship, identifying innovation indicators, developing an inventory of entrepreneurship programs and initiatives, and […]

Appalachia Then and Now: Complete Study
Start Date: Feb 2013 — End Date: May 2015

Under a partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness worked with West Virginia University’s Regional Research Institute and its Bureau of Business and Economic Research to analyze the agency’s effectiveness during the past 50 years. Specifically, CREC teamed with the two other organizations to examine the significant structural and socioeconomic changes to the […]

State of the Region: Examining Changes to the Appalachian Region Since 1965
Start Date: Nov 2013 — End Date: Dec 2014

This study, commissioned by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), “Appalachian Then and Now: Examining 50 Years of Changes to the Appalachian Region Since 1965” analyzes 50 years of socioeconomic trends, including poverty, income disparity, unemployment, employment change, population change, economic and industry mix, educational attainment, housing quality, health, transportation access, and telecommunications capacity in the Appalachian Region and summarizes the economic impacts accruing to the Region through ARC’s non-highway investments.

Diversifying Appalachia: Metrics, Tools, Strategies, and Guides
Start Date: Oct 2012 — End Date: Oct 2013

CREC, working in collaboration with the University of Illinois’ Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, developed a set of diversity measures to better understand the relationship between economic diversity and economic growth and development.

Project Updates

CREC Launches New Website Focused on the Appalachian Regional Commission’s 50-Year Impact
November 4, 2015

The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), in partnership with West Virginia University (WVU) have launched a new website that seeks to further educate the public about the significant structural and socioeconomic changes that have taken place in the U.S. Appalachian Region following the Appalachian Regional Development Act’s passage in 1965. The site specifically focuses […]