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December 27, 2016
Governor announces grant to help small towns and cities reach their potentials

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced a $100,000 grant to provide the tools to help 18 Alabama cities excel and reach their potential

Funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission will enable Alabama Communities of Excellence Inc. to continue to provide training and develop leaders in the communities taking part in the program designed to help strengthen smaller Alabama cities and towns and create long-term economic stability.

“Alabama’s economic pulse runs as much through smaller cities and towns as it does larger metropolitan areas,” Bentley said. “Increasing the economic stability in rural Alabama and smaller cities benefits all of Alabama.”

ACE works with communities of populations from 2,000 to 18,000 people to develop and implement a strategic plan for economic growth. Part of the plan involves developing leaders, both adult and youth, to help achieve those goals.

The 18 cities participating in the program are within one of its three phrases, including assessing, planning and implementing Those cities and towns include Arab, Alexander City, Childersburg, Fayette, Graysville, Guin, Guntersville, Haleyville, Hartselle, Heflin, Jacksonville, Jasper, Leeds, Millbrook, Oneonta, Rainsville, Red Bay and Valley.

Primary emphasis will be placed on participating cities in Chambers, DeKalb, Fayette, Franklin, Marion and Winston counties which according to ARC guidelines have been labeled as economically distressed or at risk of becoming distressed.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs manages the ARC program in Alabama.

“The coalition of groups involved in the ACE program helps provide small cities with the materials and expertise needed to make their communities vibrant,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “I am always pleased when so many entities come together with the goal of helping people and communities succeed.”

A local match of $72,117 is being added to the funding.

ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.


Contact Jim Plott or Mike Presley

For more information, visit:  http://www.adeca.alabama.gov/