- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 9, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is the next co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, a partnership between the federal government and 13 states designed to help the region’s economy.

Cooper’s elevation during 2019 - announced Wednesday - marks the first time in more than 40 years that North Carolina’s governor has held the co-chair’s role. The commission is an economic development agency that focuses on over 400 counties from Mississippi to New York, of which almost 30 are in North Carolina.

Cooper’s leadership position means the commission will hold its annual summit in Asheville in September.

The commission says it approved $126 million in funding for over 500 economic projects during the past fiscal year.

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