Wolf Administration Announces $65.8 Million Available in Federal Funds for Economic and Workforce Development Initiatives in Coal-Impacted Communities

March 18, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the availability of $65.8 million through the Obama Administration’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative to develop new strategies for economic growth and worker advancement for communities that have historically relied on the coal economy for economic stability.

“My administration is committed to ensuring that our communities have the resources they need to continue to thrive as industry sectors transform,” said Governor Wolf. “While we do everything in our power to advance the next generation of energy production, it is critically important that we inform eligible Pennsylvania communities of the federal funds that have been made available to support their economic needs through the transition.”

The Department of Community and Economic Development in collaboration with the Department of Labor & Industry will work with communities and regions that have been negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy by encouraging them to apply for available funds and providing the data and information necessary to help support strong applications.

“It is extremely important that we collaborate on every level to ensure that Pennsylvania submits the strongest applications possible,” said Sec. Davin. “This is a great opportunity for our communities that are feeling the effects from changes in industry sectors and these resources can help strengthen their economies and workforces.”

Funds are available for a range of activities, including:

  • Developing projects that diversify local and regional economies, create jobs in new and/or existing industries, attract new sources of job-creating investment, and provide a range of workforce services and skills training;
  • Building partnerships to attract and invest in the economic future of coal-impacted communities;
  • Increasing capacity and other technical assistance fostering long term economic growth and opportunity in coal-impacted communities.

The POWER Initiative is a multi-agency effort aligning and targeting federal economic and workforce development resources to communities and workers that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is participating in the initiative with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

The Obama administration launched the POWER Initiative in 2015 and awarded nearly $15 million to coal-impacted communities, making investments in seven Appalachian states. Congress expanded the work of POWER for 2016, providing $50 million to ARC to assist communities across Appalachia, along with $15 million to EDA to assist communities nationwide.

For more information on the POWER Initiatives including eligibility requirements and application information, visit www.eda.gov/power and www.arc.gov/funding/POWER.asp.

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