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Planning & Development: ARC Area Development

About ARC

Designated as the Local Development District (LDD) by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), SPC plays a lead role in identifying priority needs of local communities by working to foster economic development, to target and meet the most pressing needs, and to build community unity and leadership.

SPC undertakes projects through the Area Development Program that address the five goals identified by ARC in its strategic plan.

1. Developing a knowledgeable and skilled population
2. Strengthening the region's physical infrastructure
3. Building local and regional capacity
4. Creating a dynamic economic base
5. Fostering healthy people

SPC seeks to build such projects as education and workforce training programs, highway construction, water and sewer system construction, leadership development programs, small business start-ups and expansions, and development of healthcare resources to meet the Area Development goals.

Eligible projects:

  • Technical assistance that provides basic services to enhance business development
  • Industrial site development
  • Local access road
  • Acquisition and development of incubator facilities
  • Commercial area revitalization
  • Telecommunications projects that encourage education and workforce training
  • Telehealth monitoring

SPC’s role as the LDD is key to project development and review, providing technical assistance to local project sponsors and sending priority recommendations to the state.

All area development projects must be completed in close consultation with SPC. The grants are very competitive, and require both a pre-application and extensive full application preparation and review. Pre-applications are due each year in June, and full applications by the following January.

Rural Countryside, Westmoreland County

Rural Countryside, Westmoreland County



SPC’s ARC Area Development Committee has reviewed, scored, prioritized and recommended the following projects to the Commission for submission to the ARC for funding consideration in compliance with the Appalachian Regional Development Act:

Section 214 Construction and 302 Non-Construction Projects

The Penn State New Kensington Entrepreneurial Center
This project will support construction costs to use entrepreneurism and co-working space to spur economic development in the city of New Kensington by creating constant traffic, energy, and investment through training, incubation of the business, and product ideas of students, faculty, and community members.

AMPAC Schaeffer Intermediate School Renovation Project 
This project will support engineering costs to transform a closed (and recently purchased) Pittsburgh Public School, Schaeffer intermediate School, into a plumbers training facility to serve seven counties around Pittsburgh.

Community Health Center Indiana County
This project entails planning and engineering activities for a new health complex serving a disadvantaged population in Indiana County. The site will provide locations for dental offices, pharmacies, and behavioral health providers serving the County.

Ruff Creek Sanitary Sewage Project at Interchange of I-79 Greene County   
The land adjacent to the I-79 interchange is Washington Township’s greatest opportunity to capitalize on the Marcellus Shale natural gas activity occurring within the region. This project will fund the municipal sewage system, which is the final piece to ensure this property is developed.

Section 201 Local Access Road Project

Business Park Access Road,  Fayette County
This project will fund the engineering costs for minor reconstruction and resurfacing of an access road at the Industrial Park Road in Menallen Township, Fayette County.

Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER)

POWER is a multi-agency initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries. ARC is participating in POWER with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and 8 other federal agencies.

SPC has joined with Catalyst Connection to win a $600,000 grant to boost manufacturing diversification and operational improvement through targeted assistance to manufacturers and freight operators in coal-impacted communities.  The grant is to address regional challenges by taking key actions to boost businesses and create jobs in the metals and advanced materials manufacturing sector through market diversification and rail/water freight capacity strategies. Together, these strategies will enable a robust transition from a dependence on coal related industries to new and emerging markets.

For more information about the Appalachian Regional Commission Area Development Program, contact Lew Villotti at (412) 391-5590 x302 or e-mail lewvillotti@spcregion.org.

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Comprehensive Economic
Development Strategy

ARC Area Development

Business Finance (Loans)

Export Development

Government Procurement

Keystone Opportunity
Zones (KOZ)

Local Food
Value Chain Intiative

Local Technology
Assistance Program (LTAP)

Partnerships for Regional
Economic Performance

Water Resource Center


Contact Planning & Development

Department Director:
Lew Villotti
(412) 391-5590 x302

Planning & Development

Southwestern Pennsylvania

Two Chatham Center Suite 500
112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
(412) 391-5590 (P)
(412) 391-9160 (F)

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