An Introduction to the Councils

Like the rivers that flow through the State of Alabama, each separate and distinct, yet merging and blending together to form a system of waterways that provide a variety of different functions to our state’s population – so is the Alabama Association of Regional Councils (AARC). Each of the 12 regional councils is a separate organization that provides a variety of services to the communities in their area. Yet, when these agencies are blended together through the AARC, there becomes a stronger voice on those issues and programs that affect all of Alabama. The Alabama Association of Regional Councils is a public non- profit organization that represents all municipalities and counties in the State of Alabama through the membership of the individual regional councils.

The mission of the AARC is “to expand and strengthen the capabilities of Regional Councils to serve local governments and the citizens of Alabama.” The AARC promotes this mission through a number of activities. Once a year, the directors of the regional councils meet in a workshop forum to identify issues affecting all of the regions and to formulate objectives that enhance and promote economic, community and social improvements for the citizens in their regions, and collectively, for the citizens of the State of Alabama.

Under the umbrella of the AARC, the regional councils are also able to undertake and coordinate statewide planning and economic development initiatives that are of statewide consequence. Examples of these statewide projects include the Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan and the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. And, the AARC hosts a training conference each year that offers informative track-specific work sessions and general sessions. The AARC Annual Training Conference provides opportunities for local leaders to share information and ideas and has been a successful initiative in generating regional solutions to local and statewide issues.