POWER Initiative to Assist Communities Affected by Changes in Coal Industry and Power Sector
On March 27, senior administration officials and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, joined by ARC Executive Director Scott Hamilton, announced the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative, a multi-agency effort to assist communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector. Through the initiative, agencies including the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide competitive grants to affected communities to help them develop comprehensive economic strategic plans and undertake coordinated economic and workforce development activities based on those plans. These activities will be targeted at diversifying local economies; creating jobs in new or existing industries; attracting new sources of job-creating investment; and providing workforce services and skills training resulting in industry-recognized credentials for high-quality, in-demand jobs.
This FY 2015 initiative is a key part of the administration's POWER+ Plan included in President Obama's proposed FY 2016 budget. It will coordinate use of appropriated FY 2015 funds from a range of federal programs to begin the work of assisting communities adversely impacted by the changing energy landscape and the decline in coal-related jobs.
A total of $28 million to $38 million in POWER Initiative grants will be available through a federal funding opportunity to be announced this spring.POWER Initiative Fact Sheet