ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin to moderate panel on Appalachia’s outdoor economy industry on August 31

Lewisburg, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Summit hosted by the Greenbrier will hold a panel discussion on multi-state collaboration across Appalchia’s outdoor economy industry on Wednesday, August 31, at 3:00 pm. The Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin will moderate the panel bringing together national and local leaders and regional outdoor industry experts.

Appalachia’s travel and tourism industry is the region’s fastest-growing employment sector, earning more than $4.5 billion in local tax revenue and employing over 570,000 Appalachian residents.

Manchin will offer insight on ARC’s new Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE)  funding opportunity. ARISE would make $73.5 million to support widespread regional economic transformation through collaborative efforts across Appalachia.

Executive Director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, Jina Belcher, will serve as a panelist and share the state’s efforts to lead the Outdoor Recreation Industry and Vibrant Economies Strategies (Outdoor RIVERS). Outdoor RIVERS is a project to enhance the assets within the Central Appalachian region’s most rural and coal-impacted communities. The program, which served as a model for the ARISE project recently received a $250,000 grant from ARC.

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