Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced middle school students in McDowell County will receive laptop computers funded, in part, through West Virginia's Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant funds. Governor Tomblin, who serves as the 2013 States Co-Chair for ARC, has recommended this and nine other projects, totaling more than $4.3 million, to receive West Virginia's ARC Investment Program grants.
"Nearly 800 middle school students will soon have access to everyday technology which will open the door to new learning methods and make the pursuit of a quality education easier," Gov. Tomblin said. "Whether used to purchase computers, establish community-based health education for those living with diabetes, or constructing the building blocks of economic development, we're putting these valuable ARC grants to use for their intended purpose--improve life in Appalachia."
The purchase of the laptop computers are also funded through a matching grant from the federal initiative, Connect2Compete, and the private-public partnership, Reconnecting McDowell.
The West Virginia Development Office administers the state's ARC program, which is a partnership of federal, state and local participants providing financial and technical assistance for economic development and infrastructure projects. The mission of ARC is to assist the Appalachian region, comprised of 13 states including West Virginia, to become more competitive with the rest of the nation in terms of job opportunities, education, health and other socio-economic factors. ARC designates each county in each state with a county economic level: distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive, or attainment.