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Grant Process

Director Wilson visits the YMCA Wellness Center at St. John Arena in Steubenville

Director Wilson discussing the waterline project with residents of Beaver Township

The Governor's Office of Appalachia collaborates with the Office of Community Development to administer several grant programs, including the Appalachian Local Access Road Program, the Area Development Program, and the Distressed Counties Program. Funding for the grants comes from the Appalachian Regional Commission or the State of Ohio.

Interested applicants are directed to work with staff at their local development district to obtain application guidelines and forms and to design and refine proposed projects. For most of the grant programs, applicants submit completed pre-application or application forms to their Local Development District (LDD). Staff members and the boards of the Local Development Districts review, score, and rank applications to create a board-approved district funding package.

The Local Development Districts meet with the ARC program manager, the GOA Director, and OCD staff to review the four district funding packages and available funds and develop the annual state and federal investment packages. Projects included in Ohio's investment packages support the goals and objectives of the ARC and the state Appalachian development plan and annual strategy statements.


The Governor's Office of Appalachia serves as an advocate for Ohio's 32 Appalachian counties. The Office partners with organizations, agencies, and individuals to foster positive economic growth and improve the quality of life for all citizens living in the region. The Governor's Office of Appalachia works with Ohio’s four Local Development Districts and with the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C., to promote the region's assets and to support local, regional, state, and federal initiatives.

Appalachian Local Access Road Program

The Appalachian Local Access Road program provides matching funds for preliminary engineering, purchase of right-of-way, and initial construction of eligible access road projects. Eligible access road projects link businesses, communities, and residents to the Appalachian Development Highway System and to other key parts of the region's transportation network with the construction of local access roads compatible with local development plans and related to employment opportunities and the stimulation of economic development.

Area Development Grants

The Area Development grants promote a diversified regional economy through strategies that help communities create and retain businesses and jobs. They help communities develop an educated, skilled workforce and create access to affordable health care. They also support the development and improvement of infrastructure, including water and sewer services and the development and use of Internet access.

Distressed County Program

The Appalachian Regional Commission designates distressed county status based on low per capita income and high rates of poverty and unemployment. In 2000, the Commission approved the creation of an enhanced program for distressed counties that funds public facilities, infrastructure and human resources projects, as well as projects to provide strategic planning and technical assistance for economic development, community learning and leadership development. The program has two parts: a capacity-building effort and a telecommunications and information technology initiative. Applicants in distressed counties are eligible to request up to 80 percent of the total project costs.