Feds announce funds to retrain laid off coal miners
The Obama administration is making "emergency" funds available to help laid-off miners in eastern Kentucky weather the coal market downturn. The Department of Labor is offering almost $5.2 million in National Emergency Grant dollars to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program Inc.
"When families lose their entire source of income, they often need more than one job to make ends meet," said acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris. "This grant from the Labor Department will help prepare both displaced miners and their spouses for new employment in eastern Kentucky's growing industries."
Many mines have closed, idled or announced layoffs amid competition from natural gas and air emissions standards for coal-fired power plants.
The funding, $3.8 million of which will be released initially, will provide eligible laid-off miners and spouses with training and other services that they need to compete for employment in other industries throughout the area, such as business services, telecommunications, construction and skill trades, energy creation and transmission, healthcare and others.