Gov. Hogan was unanimously nominated as co-chair last fall. Photo by the Office of Governor Larry Hogan.

Governor Larry Hogan on Monday was appointed co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission for 2022.

He will serve as co-chair for the states, working in partnership with federal co-chair Gayle Manchin.

Hogan was unanimously nominated last fall, and will be the first states’ co-chair from Maryland in 30 years. 

ARC is a partnership agency consisting of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across Appalachia. 

The 13 states included are Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Founded in 1965 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, ARC seeks to strengthen economic growth in Appalachia, one of the most historically impoverished regions in America.

The demise of the coal industry – the region’s longstanding economic driver – has contributed to economic and employment loss in the region.  

In Appalachia between 2015 and 2019, 15.2 percent of the population lived below the poverty line, compared to 13.4 percent nationwide, according to ARC. 

In 2019, per capita personal income stayed below $45,000 in the region, while the nationwide income was above $55,000. 

ARC aims to boost the region’s economy by addressing issues like economic disruptions and the opioid crisis. 

As co-chair for the states, Hogan will work with all 13 Appalachian states and the federal office to address the investment priorities outlined in ARC’s 2022-2026 strategic plan

He will replace Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam as co-chair. 

“It’s a great honor to be the first Maryland governor in 30 years to serve as co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission,” said Governor Hogan in a news release. 

“The commission is a unique partnership, and this is a particularly critical time for us to work together across state and party lines to advance the economic growth and vitality of the region,” he said.