Of 36 newly announced POWER Initiative grant awards, Central Appalachia will receive 22

The Obama Administration announced yesterday new federal grants totaling more than $14 million for partnerships in 12 states and tribal nations. The money comes from the POWER Initiative, which the administration bills as the down-payment on the POWER+ Plan, and addresses immediate need created by the collapse of the coal industry. The POWER+ Plan proposes an almost $10 billion investment in coal communities to help them transition into a new economy. 

Of the 36 total awards, Kentucky is getting 14. With those 14 factored in, Central Appalachia is getting 22. That’s a lot of federal money making its way into the mountains, and it’s definitely going to help move the region forward.

Some highlights of projects being funded with these grants:

  • $200,000 EDA grant to Appalshop, in Whitesburg, Ky., for Mines to Minds: The Southeast Kentucky High Tech Workforce Certificate Project. Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is also awarding $75,000 to this project. The project will develop a one-year IT workforce certificate program targeted to communities affected by the reduction in coal employment.
  • $100,000 EDA grant to Perry County Fiscal Court in Hazard, Ky., for the Southeastern Kentucky Economic HUB Opportunities Diversification Implementation Project. This project will fund a position that coordinates implementation of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy across targeted industry clusters, while leveraging existing resources to invest in skills development and job placement for dislocated workers.
  • $80,000 to the Kentucky River Area Development District in Hazard, Ky., to fund a first-ever inventory of existing businesses in the region.
  • $274,500 to the Big Sandy Area Development District in Prestonsburg, Ky., to market its revolving loan fund, develop its resource network, scope industry cluster/sector strategies, and provide entrepreneurial service provider networking and coordination.

To read the full press release about the grants, click here.