About Us

The Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) is a membership organization of the 73 Local Development Districts (LDD’s) serving the 420 counties of the Appalachia Region. The DDAA works to strengthen LDDs and their member governments and to provide leadership to support the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) federal-state-local partnership.

Download the DDAA Brochure

DDAA_Strategic_Plan -_2015-2020

DDAA_Strategic_Plan -_2021-2025


What is an LDD?

Local Development Districts (LDDs) are multi-jurisdictional planning and economic development organizations that provide administrative, professional and technical assistance to local governments and citizens throughout Appalachia. Appalachia is a federally designated geographic area covering parts of twelve states and all of West Virginia. An LDD is the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) name for the multi-county planning and development organizations which from State to State may be otherwise known as regional councils, councils of governments, area development districts, regional development centers, or regional planning commissions. LDD’s are the local partner in the ARC’s Federal-State-Local partnership, and they serve the member counties and municipalities within their designated regions in efforts aimed at achieving the goals of the ARC.

Bedrock Principals of LDDs

– Local governments and communities can accomplish more by working together than individually – Promote a regional and holistic approach to community and economic development

Common Missions of LDDs

– Serve as effective catalysts in fostering partnerships, progress and prosperity throughout the 13-state Appalachian region.

– Help public and private sector leaders develop and implement programs and services that build strong regional economies and communities.

LDD Organizational Structure

While specific programs and activities vary from District to District and State to State, the following are examples of the programs operated by Local Development Districts:

– Aging programs – Business development finance – Geographic Information System (GIS) technology – Environmental Planning – Community and economic development – Emergency preparedness and planning – Human services and workforce development – Public administration – Telecommunications and broadband deployment – Transportation planning and public transportation services

LDD Governance

Each LDD is governed by a locally appointed Board of Directors that typically includes:

– Two-thirds local government officials and/or appointees – One-third academic, business and non-profit sectors, as required by various federal and state guidelines

Past Accomplishments

LDDs have accomplished a range of tasks that benefit their regions:

– Between 1990 and 2005, LDDs administered almost 7,700 grants and projects totaling more than $5.5 billion in pass-through and programmatic funds; – LDDs’ combined business development loan portfolio invested more than $368 million in gap financing for businesses and entrepreneurs from 1995 to 2005; – LDDs made more than 2,550 business loans and leveraged an additional $1.1 billion from the private sector in underserved regions and for companies and entrepreneurs struggling to secure financing; – Almost 60,000 jobs have been created or retained, and 96,000 workforce clients were prepared to contribute to the region’s economy, as a result of LDD programs from the mid 1990s to 2004; – During the same time period, 2.3 million seniors benefited from aging programs funded at $425 million and administered by LDDs in parts of the region; – Since their inception, LDDs have helped thousands of citizens and hundreds of businesses recover from natural disasters across the region.