CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381

AMLA Releases New Video Highlighting Investment Opportunities in Appalachian Alabama

Decatur, Ala. (Dec. 8, 2022) – The Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) has released a new video promoting funding and investment opportunities from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments across the Appalachian region with a mission to innovate, partner and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.

Each year, investments from ARC support hundreds of economic development projects across its 13 state region. The ARC program's region includes all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. These investments help build communities, create jobs and strengthen economic growth. Produced by AMLA, Investing in Appalachian Alabama is a 10-minute video featuring success stories in the following Alabama communities: Woodstock, West Blocton, Oakville and Scottsboro. The video leads off with Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban, who stresses the importance of creating opportunities for success and helping others who may be at a disadvantage. To view the video, visit  

“The overall purpose of the Investing in Appalachian video is to serve as a promotional tool of the benefits of the ARC to the state of Alabama, as well as to help educate the public that Alabama is a part of the Appalachian region,” said AMLA President and CEO Tami Reist. 

Thirty-seven of Alabama’s 67 counties are located within the Appalachian region. The counties are: Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.

“ARC invests with local, regional and state partners to transform Appalachian communities, create jobs and strengthen the economy. Appalachia has long been stereotyped as a dying culture, but through this video, we want to shine a light on the vibrant growth within Alabama’s communities that the ARC has been able to help facilitate. The end goal with this video is to leave the viewer inspired. We want them to be excited about the opportunities that the ARC can bring to their communities and inspired to take action to address the challenges that their communities face,” added Reist.

From 2013-2022, ARC has invested $79.5 million in 479 projects across Alabama’s Appalachian region. Those projects attracted another $105.8 million in matching funds and leveraged $1.03 billion in additional private investment for the benefit of students, workers, businesses and the 3.1 million residents in Alabama’s 37 Appalachian counties. “Even with this progress, there's still much more work to be done in our communities,” said Reist.  

The goal of the ARC program is to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life. All projects must meet one of the following goals established by ARC:

-    Invest in entrepreneurial and business development strategies that strengthen Appalachia’s economy.
-    Improve the education, knowledge, skills and health of residents to work and succeed in Appalachia.
-    Invest in critical infrastructure- especially broadband, transportation, and water/wastewater systems.
-    Strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by leveraging the Region’s natural and cultural heritage assets.
-    Build the capacity and skills of current and next generation leaders and organizations to innovate, collaborate and advance community and economic development.

For more information, visit

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @VisitNorthAL and like us at