Funding to revitalize coal mining communities that were hurt by shift to renewable energy

On February 1, 2018 the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) issued a request for proposals for the 2018 Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER Initiative) funding.

In 2018, POWER will focus on investments that are regional, strategic, and transformational and that maximize the economic revitalization of Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities and regions.

In general, ARC’s POWER investments will focus on four areas:

  • Building a competitive workforce;
  • Enhancing access to and use of broadband services;
  • Fostering entrepreneurial activities; and
  • Developing industry clusters in communities.

Eligible funding applicants include:

  • Local development districts;
  • Indian Tribes or a consortium of Indian Tribes;
  • States, counties, cities, or other political subdivision of a state, including a special purpose unit of a state or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
  • Institutions of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; and
  • Public or private nonprofit organizations or associations.

POWER is a Congressionally-funded initiative that targets federal resources to help communities and regions 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 POWER Initiative supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and re-employment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment.

To date, ARC has awarded $94 million through the POWER Initiative to help coal-impacted communities in 250 Appalachian counties diversify and grow their economies.

These 114 investments are projected to create or retain almost 8,800 jobs, leverage an additional $210 million in investment, and prepare thousands of workers and students with globally competitive skills and opportunities in the Region’s manufacturing, technology, entrepreneurship, agriculture, and other emerging sectors.

Featured photo via Adobe Stock.

Proposal due dates: May 1, 2018 for Cycle 1; July 27, 2018 for Cycle 2.

See ARC’s POWER website.

See ARC RFP (PDF).

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