State of the Region: Examining Changes to the Appalachian Region Since 1965
CREC teamed up with West Virginia University’s Regional Research Institute (RRI) and Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) to examine the significant structural and socioeconomic changes to the Appalachian Region since 1965 and to determine to what extent the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) economic development investments have contributed to these changes. The more than year-long research project was sponsored by the ARC, a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local governments across the 13 Appalachian states. Organized into four major tasks, the project sought to: (1) document the Appalachian Region’s 50 years of socioeconomic and structural changes, presented through a web-tool designed to help visualize the findings; 2) analyze economic impacts through regional input-output analysis and a quasi-experimental method designed to compare ARC-assisted counties with a control group; 3) assess stakeholder perceptions about past performance and future priorities through telephone and in-person interviews with ARC program experts and in-state focus groups; and 4) develop an integrated report and web-based delivery platform to share the findings and recommendations as broadly as possible. CREC also presented the findings at a series of strategic planning sessions held in five locations throughout the region in Spring 2015.
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About the Client
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.