Grant Details

Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative (Part C): Broadband (Appalachian Region) - FY 2024

Agency: US Other
Office: Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
Multipart Grant: Yes
Next Due: 04/17/2024 (Multiple)
Solicitation Date: 02/01/2024
Match Required: Yes
Match Type: Cash/In-Kind
Actual Funds: Unspecified

The purpose of this program is to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain or logistics industries due to the changing economics of America's energy production and the coal economy. This program will support efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and reemployment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment.

All applications must address one or more of the following goals:

  • Building Appalachian businesses: strengthening and diversifying the region’s economy through inclusive economic development strategies and investments in entrepreneurship and business development
  • Building Appalachia’s workforce ecosystem: expanding and strengthening community systems that help Appalachians obtain a job, stay on the job, and advance along a financially sustaining career pathway
  • Building Appalachia’s infrastructure: ensuring that the residents and businesses of Appalachia have access to reliable, affordable, resilient, and energy-efficient utilities and infrastructure in order to successfully live and work in the region
  • Building regional culture and tourism: strengthening Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by preserving and investing in the region’s local cultural heritage and natural assets
  • Building community leaders and capacity: investing in the capacity of local leaders, organizations, and communities to address local challenges by providing technical assistance and support to access resources, engage partners, identify strategies and tactics, and conduct effective planning and project execution

Priority will be given to projects and activities that:

  • Will produce diverse economic development outcomes
  • Are specifically identified under state, local, and/or regional economic development plans
  • Have been collaboratively designed by a diverse blend of state, local, and regional stakeholders

Applications need not include all of the following investment priorities to be considered for funding; however, all applications will be reviewed for their ability to address at least one of these priority areas:

  • Fostering entrepreneurial activities
  • Developing industry clusters in communities
  • Building a competitive workforce
  • Broadband deployment

Applicants should apply an equity lens to their projects, which may be done by including intentional strategies that aim to increase inclusion of under-represented communities in their proposed work. Applicants should consider how their project will aim to expand access to and increase representation and participation of under-represented communities in their proposed activities.

Funding will be provided for the following program components:

  • (Part A): Implementation Grants
  • (Part B): Technical Assistance Grants
  • (Part C): Broadband
  • (Part D): Planning Grants
  • (Part E): Access-to-Capital Projects

The purpose of the Broadband component is to support broadband deployment projects and broadband as a service (BaaS) projects that enhance access to broadband services. Funding will support the following types of projects:

  • Fiber deployment projects
  • Wireless deployment projects
  • Broadband feasibility studies designed to demonstrate the feasibility of broadband deployment in coal-impacted communities
  • Other broadband projects that seek to utilize existing broadband service or increase its adoption through community outreach efforts or innovative economic development initiatives

An optional virtual pre-application workshop is scheduled for this program. Refer to the Application section for details.

Eligibility is limited to projects serving and benefiting a portion of the Appalachian region. Refer to the Eligibility section for additional information.

Last Updated: February 27, 2024

Eligibility Notes:

Eligible applicants are:

  • Local development districts (LDDs)
  • Indian tribes or consortia of Indian tribes
  • States, counties, cities, or other political subdivisions of a state, including special-purpose units of a state or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities; or consortia of political subdivisions
  • Institutions of higher education or consortia of institutions of higher education
  • Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations

Projects must serve and benefit a portion of the Appalachian region as defined by the Appalachian Regional Development Act (ARDA) of 1965, as amended. The Appalachian region includes all of West Virginia and certain counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. If projects extend beyond the Appalachian region, only that portion that is within the region is eligible for funding. Refer to page 3 of the EligMap file for a map of the Appalachian region.

Projects must also be located within and targeted to communities or regions that have been recently impacted, or can reasonably demonstrate that they will be impacted in the near future, by coal mining or coal power plant employment loss, or employment loss in the supply chain or logistics industries of either sector.

Projects should have multiple stakeholders engaged from multiple sectors and from multiple disciplines. Multistate projects must have at least one partner physically located in each state of the proposed service area. Project team membership may be comprised of the following:

  • State, regional, and local economic development organizations
  • Local governments
  • Planning organizations and development districts
  • Labor unions and labor-management apprenticeship programs
  • State and local workforce agencies
  • Institutions of higher education, including community colleges and other job training and adult education providers
  • Nonprofit and community-based organizations
  • Chambers of commerce, industry and trade associations, local and regional business owners, and other representatives from the private sector

Entities that have current awards through this program or any other of the funding agency's programs are only eligible to apply if their proposed scope of work is new and does not overlap with their current open awards. Applications from such entities must include an expansion of geography, increased scope of work with an existing concept, or a new concept.

Eligible Applicants:
Local Government
Academic Institutions
Native American Tribe
Non Profits
State Government
Application Notes:

Prior to submitting a letter of intent (LOI), applicants must contact the appropriate state program manager to ensure that the project is in alignment with state priorities using the information provided online at

Mandatory LOIs must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. ET on March 1, 2024.

LOIs must be submitted online at

LOIs must include:

  • Applicant and contact information
  • Tentative project title
  • Project type
  • Grant type
  • Award amount requested
  • Basic agency partners
  • Project priority
  • Partnerships
  • Geographic scope
  • Summary of proposal (1,000 characters max)
  • Previous applications/awards

Following LOI receipt, the funding agency will forward the LOI to the appropriate state program manager impacted by the project. Applicants that meet basic eligibility requirements will receive an email with confirmation of receipt and instructions on how to submit an application.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. ET on April 17, 2024.

Applications must be submitted online at

The contents of the application will be available upon initiation of the online application process. Applications are limited to 100 pages total, and narrative responses are limited to 15 pages. Attachments must be submitted in .pdf format.

The following are required in order to submit an application:

  • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number
  • SAM (System for Award Management) registration

Applicants may obtain a UEI number and verify or renew SAM registration status at

An optional virtual pre-application workshop will be held for this program as follows:

February 15, 2024
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. ET

A recording of the virtual pre-application workshop held for this program can be found online at

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Project description
  • Coal impact
  • Rationale
  • Project team
  • Projected outputs and outcomes
  • Match and budget evaluation
  • Application completeness

Refer to the NOFA and LOITemplate files for additional application information.

Match Required: Yes
Match Type: Cash/In-Kind
Actual Funds: Unspecified
Match Notes:

Applicants must demonstrate a matching share from non-funding agency sources that is identified and forthcoming to the project. Matching sources may be nonfederal, other federal, or a combination of sources, including in-kind sources. The maximum share of program assistance is determined by the funding agency's classification of the county or counties served by the proposed activities, and the amount of match required will vary depending on the county designation. Information regarding the funding agency's economic designations and corresponding matching requirements can be found online at

For a multicounty project, the following special matching rules apply if there is a distressed county in the project:

  • If at least half of the counties are distressed, the project may be funded at up to 80 percent of project costs
  • If at least half of the counties are some combination of distressed and at-risk, assistance can be the higher of 70 percent of project costs or the average percentage applicable to the various counties in the project
  • If fewer than half the counties are distressed, assistance can be the higher of 50 percent of project costs or the average percentage applicable to the various counties in the project

If there is no competitive county or attainment county in a project, and at least half the counties are at-risk, the project may be funded at up to 70 percent of project costs.

All other multicounty projects will be funded at the average percentage applicable to the various counties in the project, except that the portion of a project that is attributable to an attainment county in a project that does not include a distressed county will be considered ineligible for assistance and may not be considered for matching purposes.

For broadband deployment projects, priority will be given to projects with evidence of leveraged funding for the overall project.

Funding Notes:

An unspecified amount of funding is available for this program overall, with up to one-third of the total funding available to support support awards through this component, as follows:

  • Broadband deployment and broadband as a service (BaaS) projects: awards ranging from $400,000 to $2.5 million
  • Broadband feasibility studies projects: awards of up to $50,000

To qualify for broadband deployment funding, at least 65 percent of the project budget must be directed to the physical deployment of broadband infrastructure. Project budgets that direct more than 35 percent of funds toward activities not directly associated with deployment of broadband infrastructure will follow the same guidelines as awards funded through the Implementation Grants component, known in eCivis Grants Network as US16850A.

The project period is likely to begin on October 1, 2024. Implementation projects that do not go to contract by December 1, 2024, are subject to disqualification. The project period will last from 12 to 36 months for non-construction implementation projects. The project period may last up to 48 months for construction implementation projects. The project period may last up to 12 months for planning projects.

Funds may not be used for:

  • Application preparation costs
  • Deployment to areas that already have adequate broadband availability
  • Subsidizing an area that will receive a government subsidy from a different source
  • Overlaying existing areas that have adequate service or provide unfair competition

In October 2023, nearly $54 million was distributed via 64 awards through this program overall. In October 2022, nearly $47 million was distributed via 52 awards through this program overall. In March 2022, nearly $21 million was distributed via 21 awards. Refer to the Award file for details.


Program Staff

Agency Address
Appalachian Regional Commission
1666 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20009

Contact Notes:

Questions should be directed to the program staff, or to the appropriate state program manager listed online at

Letters of intent (LOIs) must be submitted online at

Applications must be submitted online at

The agency address provided is for reference purposes only.

NOFA File: US16850C_NOFA_FY2024.pdf (506.4 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US16850C_LOITemplate_FY2024.pdf (34.5 Kb)
Other Pre-Award File: US16850C_EligMap_FY2024.pdf (226.8 Kb)
Award File: US16850C_Award_FY2024.pdf (1.5 Mb)
File Notes:

The NOFA file contains the full solicitation for this program. The LOITemplate file contains a sample of the online LOI and should be used for reference purposes only. The EligMap file contains a map of the Appalachian region, as defined by the Appalachian Regional Development Act (ARDA) of 1965, as amended. The Award file contains information on previous award recipients through this program overall.

February 27, 2024
A recording of the virtual pre-application workshop for this program has been released, and a link to the presentation is available in the Application section.

Grant Keywords
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Grant Categories
Community Development
Economic Development
Training & Vocational Services
Information Technology/Telecommunications
Rural Issues