FSU Receives $1.48 Million From Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative

Sep 17, 2021 1:05 PM

Frostburg State University was awarded $1,480,979 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the Western Maryland Advanced Technology Center at FSU Innovation Park, which will help establish a Waste-to-Value (W2V) Center of Excellence, a Remote Work Center, the Renewable Energy Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program and the Center for Advanced Product Design and Manufacturing serving Western Maryland and the surrounding region, the ARC announced on Thursday, Sept. 16. 

Read the announcement from Senator Cardin, Senator Van Hollen and Congressman Trone. 

“The downturn of the coal industry has impacted economies across Appalachia. That’s why ARC’s POWER initiative helps to leverage regional partnerships and collaborations to support efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Many of the projects we announced today will invest in educating and training the Appalachian workforce, nurturing entrepreneurship and supporting infrastructure – including broadband access. These investments in our Appalachian coal-impacted communities are critical in leveling the economic playing field so our communities can thrive.” 

This award is part of a $46.4 million package supporting 57 projects across 184 coal-impacted counties through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. POWER targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations and coal-related supply chain industries. Partners in the work include Allegany County, the Maryland Department of Commerce, The Office of the Governor through Special Secretary Wendi Peters and private companies, including Optimize Renewables, Delmock Technologies, Inc., Aeon Technologies, LLC, SonoAsh, LLC, and TGCC. 

"Through ARC, Maryland is proud to support this funding, which will create new job opportunities and promote economic development in various industries across Western Maryland,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “This vital funding for Frostburg State University will help provide education and workforce training to assist in providing a pipeline of workers to employers in a variety of fields, including information technology and renewable and resilient energy, and is just one of many exciting partnerships that will benefit our coal-impacted communities, our environment and our state.” 

“Frostburg State University is pleased to be the recipient of the only POWER grant ever awarded in the state of Maryland, a testament to the success that, working together, local, state and federal officials can deliver to our region.” said Al Delia, FSU vice president for Regional Development and Engagement. 

“This grant comes thanks to the efforts of many who care about Western Maryland and to the state legislature, especially our local delegation, and to Governor Hogan for the funding and confidence they placed in Frostburg State University to enhance our economic development initiatives,” said FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk. 

Since POWER launched in 2015, ARC has invested more than $287.8 million in 362 projects across 353 coal-impacted counties. The nearly $46.4 million awarded today is projected to create/retain more than 9,187 jobs, attract nearly $519.5 million in leveraged private investments and be matched by $59.2 million in additional public and private funds across the region. 

ARC is working with Chamberlin/Dunn LLC, a third-party research firm, to closely monitor, analyze and evaluate these investments. A new report, published today in conjunction with the announcement, drew on 72 stories representing 44 unique POWER projects funded between fiscal years 2015-2020 to determine the most significant changes that occurred as a result of POWER. 

The evaluation found that projects funded through POWER grants met or exceeded targets for jobs retained and/or created, businesses created, workers trained and revenues increased. Chamberlin/Dunn is continuing to monitor POWER investments and make recommendations to ARC for ongoing programmatic efficiencies. 

About the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) 

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC web site) is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.