A new report is in, and good news: 28 counties in our Appalachian region have had an economic uptick this past year. But other counties are struggling.

According to the newly released Appalachian Regional Commission report, turns out Ohio County’s status is transitional: the most common category to be in. This means we’re in-between the worst 25% and best 25% of the nation’s counties. 

But, unlike Ohio County, others are deemed “most vulnerable”. There are 81 in this report, a slight increase from the last one. According to the report, that’s the 3rd lowest distress count since the 2008 recession. 

It also finds 7 counties have gone up from at-risk to transitional, which means employment and wages have only gone up.

But if a county isn’t well off, that’s where the Appalachian Regional Commission steps in. 

“The data that comes in from this is very valuable for us in terms of how well our projects are moving communities along. All of that is such valuable information for us to have in planning from one year to the next, and it’s also valuable information for our counties in each of those states to have.”

Gayle Manchin, federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission

To help the counties move up, the ARC takes it up to the local and state levels. They help create and invest in projects that will retrain people, and hopefully, get people out of poverty. 

That, in turn, would bring that county out of a distressed state.