The Center for Rural Development has awarded a $10,000 Flex-E-Grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to Pine Mountain Regional Development Industrial Authority.

The grant funds will be used to develop a strategic planning project that will benefit Bell, Harlan, Knox, Letcher, and Whitley counties. The plan seeks to identify and define the best approach for economic development and workforce training in the region.

The project was funded through The Center’s Developing and Implementing Community Strategies Program in partnership with the Department for Local Government and ARC.

“We are making a difference in the lives of people in Southern and Eastern Kentucky by investing in their future and economic development of our region,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center. “Many of our rural communities and small nonprofit organizations lack the financial resources to move forward on these projects without funding assistance.”

The Developing and Implementing Community Strategies Program is committed to providing grants to assist local units of government and nonprofits from eligible counties with capacity building projects that will support economic development in distressed counties of Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

Other projects funded ARC Flex-E-Grants were the Burkesville/Cumberland County Industrial Authority, $7,500; City of Wayland, $6,000; City of Lynch/Meridzo, $10,000; FOCUS film contest in Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie, and Owsley, $5,000; Tri-Cities Heritage Corporation, $9,000; Johnson County Fiscal Court, $7,984; City of Salyersville, $7,850; Morgan County Fiscal Court, $7,500; Stay in Clay, $2,000; Menifee County Fiscal Court, $7,500; Rockcastle County Development Board, $5,000; Knox County Fiscal Court, $10,000; and Harlan County Fiscal Court, $10,000.

Grants are subject to approval for up to $10,000, require a 20 percent match of total project costs, and are to be completed within a six-month timeframe. Flex-E-Grant funds are made available on a reimbursement basis only.

For more information, contact Patti Simpson at 606-677-6000 or visit

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