Grant to Help Workers Hurt by Coal Industry Decline

The $7.5 million in funding will help workers prepare for jobs with high-wage employers

To help those affected by the recent decline in eastern Kentucky’s largest employer, the coal mining industry, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced a $7,494,017 National Emergency Grant to offer training and employment services that will prepare affected workers for jobs with the area’s high-growth and high-wage employers.

"For so many places in Kentucky, coal mining hasn't just been the economic lifeblood, but also the fabric that defines and unites the community," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "Recent changes in the energy economy have had a profound impact on Appalachian families and communities that have been sustained by the coal industry for generations. The grants we're awarding today will help workers affected by these changes identify new opportunities, land new jobs and build a brighter future."

This award is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to target federal assistance to coal communities and workers impacted by changes in the coal economy, where job losses in recent years have continued a decades-long trend. This effort complements the POWER+ Plan proposed in the President's FY 2016 budget that seeks to invest in new coal technologies, address the legacy costs of coal mining, and help workers and communities reliant on the coal industry adapt to the changing energy landscape.

The grant will fund the following employment and training services: Basic skills training to provide math and language instruction needed to move on to higher levels of training or new employment; Certification and licensing training to obtain certifications needed to pursue a new career; and Job-related skills training to provide instruction for a specific skill set.

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