Governor Robert Bentley has been selected by the 12 governors within the Appalachian Regional Commission to serve as the 2014 state co-chair.
Governor Bentley co-chaired the first meeting on Sunday during the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington, D.C.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Each year ARC provides funding for several hundred projects that create new jobs in the Appalachian Region, in areas such as business development, education and job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing, and transportation. Governor Bentley's 2014 focus will be on bettering the lives of victims of domestic abuse in the Alabama counties that are located in the ARC.
"The Appalachian Regional Commission has the same priority that I do as governor: increasing employment opportunities and providing people with the skills needed to improve their lives," Governor Bentley said. "The Commission has played an important role over the years in strengthening the economy of Alabama and the Region, and I look forward to building on that progress. I am grateful to the governors of the 12 states for their support and confidence in naming me chairman."
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) coordinates the ARC program in Alabama. ADECA director Jim Byard Jr. will serve as Bentley's alternate to the Commission.
Thirty-seven counties located within the Appalachian region of Alabama are eligible to receive ARC funding for projects.
This is Governor Bentley's second time as co-chair of the ARC. He also served in 2012.