Brown Announces $78,000 Federal Investment to Expand Broadband in Washington County

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced a $78,624 investment for the Buckeye Hills Regional Council through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. The investment will help fund a study to expand broadband service in the region with the goal of attracting news businesses and jobs. The POWER Initiative is an inter-agency effort to strengthen communities impacted by the changing coal economy.

“Ohio workers can compete with anyone in the world when given the opportunity,” said Brown. “This federal investment will help expand broadband in Washington County and provide opportunities for Ohio workers in emerging fields.”

“Today’s announcement is continued support for the work already underway to create new opportunities for those living in communities hardest hit by changes in the coal industry,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas. “These grants are a commitment to long-term diversification and economic growth in Appalachian Ohio.”

Last month, Brown helped secure $165 million for ARC in the final Energy and Water Appropriations bill signed into law by President Trump. In 2017, after President Trump’s budget proposed eliminating the ARC program entirely, Brown wrote to key leaders on the Senate Appropriations Committee calling for full funding for ARC. Brown has spoken out about the importance of ARC and against any cuts to the program.

Since its inception in 1965, ARC has generated over 300,000 jobs and $10 billion for the 25 million Americans in Appalachia. ARC supports Ohio and twelve other states across Appalachia to stimulate local economies, provide job training, expand broadband access in rural areas, and support local infrastructure needs.