Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Appalachian Regional Commission Conference in Pikeville Concludes Today

Press Release Date:  Friday, October 13, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Samantha Cook

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The 2006 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) conference in Pikeville ended today.  The conference was hosted at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center.  This year’s conference theme was “New Generation Jobs from Appalachia’s Natural Assets.”

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for representatives from each of the 13 ARC states to come together to discuss the future of this region,” said Governor Fletcher.  “From energy initiatives to adventure tourism, I feel confident that each attendee will leave this conference with new ideas and strategies to promote the ARC region.”

The conference featured sessions ranging from Adventure Tourism to the Future of Coal.  Additionally, the conference featured performances by Owsley County High School’s Kids on Stage and a performance of Higher Ground by the Southeast Community and Technical College in Cumberland, Harlan County. 

Governor Fletcher and ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne Pope also announced an energy blueprint for the ARC region.  This blueprint provides a comprehensive strategy on the utilization of the region’s natural resources to respond to the world’s changing energy needs.  The energy plan will help promote economic growth and create high-quality jobs for the area.

Governor Fletcher is the current ARC States’ Co-Chair.  As states’ co-chair, Governor Fletcher is responsible for representing the 13 ARC governors before Congress and the Bush Administration; serve as a member of various ARC committees; and provide guidance on policy and administrative issues concerning the commission. 

ARC is a federal and state economic development program used to meet infrastructure needs as well as to support education, work force development, leadership and civic capacity building, entrepreneurship, asset-based development and affordable and accessible health care. ARC is federally funded and available to Kentucky’s 51 most eastern and south-central counties. Applications for ARC funds are submitted to the Governor’s Office for Local Development.