The Williamson Daily News | ARC vital to Eastern Kentucky – West Virginia News

The Williamson Daily News | ARC vital to Eastern Kentucky –  West Virginia News

In much of eastern Kentucky, hard economic times have largely been the norm for many of our hardworking, God-fearing families in recent years.

Left behind by the downturn in the coal industry, many communities in Appalachia are struggling to get by. Thankfully, our area has benefited immensely from the resources provided by programs like the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). Initiatives like the ARC, combined with recent federal and state policies that encourage job growth and innovation, have given many of our citizens a lifeline.

The ARC is a partnership between Washington D.C. and 13 state governments, assisting over 400 counties and millions of people across Appalachia. Far from a traditional government program, the ARC makes smart, targeted investments in things like roads, broadband internet, and critical workforce development initiatives. Infrastructure and job preparation are not just amenities; they are a vital necessity for us to build a strong economy and a capable, high-quality workforce.

In a time of stressed budgets on all levels of government, every expenditure needs to be carefully reviewed, with deference given to the taxpayers who fund our government. If any type of government spending is not providing tangible benefits to taxpayers, as well as providing a strong economic return, it should be eliminated.

However, this is not the case with the ARC. While it is tempting to cut all that we can in a time where our debt and deficits are soaring, it is vital that we continue investing in economic opportunity for our people. Not just a check in the mail that requires little effort or accountability, but…

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