By Jann Wiswall

Southern Tier West is holding workshops for organizations interested in applying for grants up to $150,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in fiscal year 2015.

Three workshops will be held, one in each of the counties represented by STW — Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua. Workshop leader Ginger Malak, STW’s local program manager, will provide an overview of the ARC Area Development Program and will explain the program’s priorities, eligible project areas and the application process. Grant pre-applications are due to ARC on June 6.

Every year, the Appalachian Regional Commission awards grants to hundreds of government, educational, healthcare and non-profit entities to advance its overarching goal of developing leaders and strengthening community capacity in the region.

Grants are awarded to projects that meet four general ARC goals:

1. Increase job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation.

2. Strengthen the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy.

3. Develop and improve Appalachia’s infrastructure to make the region economically competitive.

4. Build the Appalachian Development Highway System to reduce Appalachia’s isolation.

Examples of projects that have been funded in the Southern Tier in past years include: $150,000 to create an equestrian trail network in Chautauqua County, a $34,425 program to help Spanish-speaking individuals obtain jobs in agriculture, $92,821 for nursing laboratory expansion at Jamestown Community College, $150,000 to develop a water infrastructure project in Allegany County to spur economic development, $150,000 to install a wind turbine laboratory at Alfred State University to train students, $150,000 to extend a water main along Route 417 in Wellsville and more.

The workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to noon as follows:

April 23 – Jamestown Community College, Olean

April 24 – CORE Learning Center, Belmont

April 25 – Cornell Cooperative Extension, Jamestown

For registration and more information, contact Ginger Malak at Southern Tier West, (716) 945-5301, ext. 201, or email