Economies in places like Kentucky will benefit from the POWER Initiative, President Obama's effort to develop and diversify Appalachia's workforce and communities affected by changes in the coal industry. Appalshop

Today, the White House announced the recipients of the 2015 POWER Initiative awards, which will assist coal communities in Appalachia to build a healthy, diversified economic future. The announcement came during a joint news conference at the Appalachian Regional Commission’s annual conference in Somerset, Kentucky. A total of $14.5 million in grants will go to develop integrated investments in communities and people affected by changes in the coal industry and power sector. Read the announcement from the White House here or read the press release from ARC here.

Several of the grantees from the Just Transition Fund (a collaborative project between Appalachia Funders Network and Rockefeller Family Fund) grantees were successful in securing POWER grants, including:

  • Appalshop for Mines to Minds: The Southeast Kentucky High Tech Workforce Certificate Project
  • Berea College for Collective Impact Strategy to Engage Opportunity Youth
  • Chicago Transit Authority for Fisk Power Plant Redevelopment Plan
  • Coalfield Development Corporation for Regional Economic Diversification Project
  • Friends of Southwest Virginia for RESOURCE-FULL: A Consortium Approach to Workforce and Economic Development in Southwest Virginia 
  • Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development for Local Food Supply Chain Development in Eastern Kentucky 
  • Rural Action for Emerging Social Enterprise Development  – collaborative planning with JTF funds also supported grant to Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth for Appalachian Ohio Wood Products Industry Cluster 
  • West Virginia Community Development Hub for Economic Development Plans for 5 Counties in WV

Feedback from grantees emphasized that the Just Transition Fund grants played a critical role in helping their respective organizations submit stronger POWER applications. To learn more about the Just Transition Fund and how it supports communities engaged in Transition issues, click here.

Additionally, the Just Transition Fund, Appalachia Funders Network, and the Climate & Energy Funders Group will host a webinar on Wednesday, October 28, to discuss the POWER+ proposals under consideration as part of the 2016 budget. The POWER Initiative is part of POWER+ Plan, which is President Obama’s proposed $10 billion investment in coal communities, workers, and technology. To register for the webinar, click here.