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ELEVATE Internship

Organization Overview:

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

Position Summaries:

ARC is seeking ELEVATE Interns in the Appalachian Region for a period of six weeks to work in our ARC divisions with direct supervision of mentors.  Please note, that the list of duties below is not all the duties of the internship program but rather a summary of the projects. Below are the divisions that are seeking an intern and apply accordingly:

Research & Evaluation - Academies & Institutes (A&I) Division: Students interested in careers in research, data analysis, and/or program development.
Ideal Majors (or related to): Political Science, Public Policy, or Business Analytics.


  • Contact ACRI partner communities to set up phone or virtual interviews to discuss the impact and legacy of their ACRI project.
  • Write approximately 7-10 case studies (400-500 words each) summarizing each interview.
  • Collect supporting data, photographs, news clips, and videos that help "tell the story" of ACRI's impact on local communities.

Office of Executive Director – Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER Initiative): Students interested in rural development, program management, and/or program evaluation.

Ideal Majors (or related to): Business Administration, Business Analytics, Data Science, or interest in Data Visualization careers.


  • Analyze and interpret data to provide insight into key areas of interest related to the POWER Initiative.
  • Present data using dashboards/visualization tools, such as Tableau or PowerBI, to create an easy-to-digest, user-friendly way for stakeholders to find data related to the POWER Initiative.
  • Draft brief on findings and ways to utilize the dashboard/visualization tool.

Office of General Counsel: Students interested in law school (Juris Doctor or Master’s).
Ideal Majors (or related to): Pre-law, Political Science, Public Policy, or Public Affairs


  • Organize and examine ARC's historical documents pertinent to the Commission, including Congressional legislative history. Conduct a substantive review of the documents, digitize and organize the documents in an easily accessible format.
  • Conduct research projects using the Commission’s grants management system. Perform data analysis and interpret the results, identifying patterns and trends. Compose reports and present the results to staff.
  • Examine historical documents pertinent to the Commission, including Congressional legislative history. Conduct a substantive review of the documents, digitize and organize the documents in an easily accessible format.

Communications Division: Students interested in pursuing a career in Marketing and Communications or Public Relations.
Ideal Majors (or related to): Public Relations, Communications, and/or Marketing.


  • Research, write, and produce 2-3 "investments in Action" digital stories that can be leveraged/shared via ARC's various communications platforms (e.g., website, weekly e-Newsletter, social media) that relate to digital storytelling of ARC grantee success stories/projects.
  • Produce content related to the ELEVATE internship (e.g., website content, video/vlogs of cohort experience, talking points, social media posts, etc.) in order to market the program to future cohorts by creating marketing material for the ELEVATE Internship program.

Critical Infrastructure Division (DCI): Students interested in rural development or data analytic careers.
Ideal Majors (or related to): Economic Development, Data Science, Political Science.


  • Review expired DCI projects and close them out to support the Grants Oversight and New Efficiency (GONE) Act.
  • Complete area under the Construction Grants Management  Process in the Grants Management Library to improve ARC staff onboarding and technical assistance to ARC partners and grantees.
  • Compare the total cost of the project (implementation and planning) when the grant is awarded vs the final cost of the project. Assist the agency's need to analyze the accuracy of cost estimates and ensure risk management practices.

Business & Workforce Investment: Students interested in business and/or entrepreneurship programs are highly encouraged to apply.
Ideal Majors (or related to): Business Administration, International Development, or Economic Development.


  • Analyze grant data to identify trends, themes, and areas for additional technical assistance.
  • Research health-related challenges and opportunities in Appalachia to support the Health team in project development.
  • Develop and coordinate technical assistance and education webinars that are grantee-facing.
  • Assist with the INSPIRE initiative project lifecycle from NOSA development to application reviews to announcing the FY24 grantees.

Information Technology (IT): Students interested in pursuing a career in Information Technology or Systems Management careers.
Ideal Majors (or related to): Computer Science, Business Technology, or interested in pursuing certifications in IT.  

  • Assist with preparing technical documentation and user guides for the new Grants Management System.
  • Assist in migrating content from file server to cloud storage.
  • Assist in decommissioning systems.

Requirements for All Interns:

  • Proficient in Microsoft Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel & PowerPoint).
  • Core competencies: accountability, adaptability, collaboration, communication, critical analysis.
  • Current student or recent graduate of an institution of higher education.
  • Successful completion (prior to hire) and maintenance of background security review.
  • No travel is needed.

Why ARC?

ARC Intern will gain leadership and research skills, insight into ARC strategic investments, and knowledge of interventions that benefit Appalachian communities.  They will be paid directly by ARC as a temporary, intermittent employee. ARC generally follows the General Schedule Salary Table of the Federal government.  ARC’s grades denoted by “NF” are equivalent to the GS chart.  This is a hybrid position (NF-5 DC locality) located in Washington, DC, and requires three “in-person” days in the office.


  • Employer-sponsored housing
  • Competitive pay
  • Metro benefits
  • Travel stipend
  • Hybrid work schedule

How to Apply: