A number of initiatives focused on workforce and economic development in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are set to receive funding through the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The federal organization announced a $44.4 million investment package Tuesday to support projects across nine states through its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) initiative.

In Tennessee, Northeast State Community College in Blountville received a $1.56 million grant for its “Advancing Aviation Technology” project. East Tennessee State University in Johnson City received $727,815 for the “Create Appalachia Arts & Technology Economic Development Initiative.”

In Virginia, the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board in Lebanon received $1.5 million for its “Recovery Opportunities and Pathways to Employment Success” program, and the Southwest Virginia Community College in Cedar Bluff received $588,072 for its Automotive Service Excellence Center.

The LENOWISCO Planning District Commission in Duffield, received $50,000 for the “Technology Innovation Ecosystem for Rural Water Systems” project. Appalachian Voices in Boone, North Carolina received $49,940 for a project that will help support a commercial-scale solar group purchase program in Southwest Virginia.

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