Washington, DC — The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced $44.4 million for 54 projects affecting coal-impacted communities in Appalachian states. The commission said Tuesday that the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative aims to create or retain over 5,700 jobs. It said the initiative also seeks to leverage more than $39 million in private investment, create or retain 2,940 businesses and train thousands of workers and students. According to a statement from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, $1.5 million will be awarded to Pikeville Medical Center to help fund a children’s hospital to serve as Central Appalachia’s premier pediatric healthcare facility for children in need of preventative care or hospitalization. Senator McConnell also helped PMC secure $4.8 million for the project from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Abandoned Mine Land Economic Development Pilot Program.