To support locally-driven efforts in coal country to create jobs, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced on June 23, 2017 that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) making $30 million in funds available to assist coal communities through the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative.
It is anticipated that EDA will accept ACC 2017 proposals and applications on an ongoing basis throughout FY17 until all available funding has been obligated.
The $30 million in ACC 2017 funds available for application are targeted to directly assist communities and regions severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities.
Under the ACC 2017 initiative, EDA prioritizes implementation projects and activities that:
- Will produce multiple economic and workforce development outcomes, such as regional economic growth and diversification, new job creation, and reemployment opportunities for displaced coal economy workers; and
- Are specifically identified under local and regional economic development plans that have been collaboratively produced by diverse local and regional stakeholders.
Under this NOFA, EDA will also support ACC planning through strategy grants that develop, update or refine a CEDS or an equivalent planning document.
Under the ACC 2017 initiative, the term coal economy is used to refer to the complete ecosystem of coal-reliant industries and businesses. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Coal Mining; and/or
- Coal-Fired Power Plants; and/or
- Related Transportation, and/or Logistics, and/or
- Supply Chain Manufacturing Industries.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the NOFA on grants.gov for more details on the ACC 2017 funding, including eligibility, matching-fund requirements, and other information.