The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) joined U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez today as he announced that up to $35.5 million in funding is now available through the Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative.
POWER, which was announced at the end of March, is an EDA-led, coordinated effort among multiple federal agencies using existing resources to provide integrated and coordinated investments in communities and workers negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector.
“The POWER Initiative aligns perfectly with EDA’s mission of helping distressed communities create conditions that enable economic growth,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Jay Williams. “EDA is looking forward to working with our federal partners in assisting coal communities diversify and strengthen their economies through the POWER program.”
The Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO), which opened today, outlines the POWER Initiative implementation grant priorities, evaluation factors, and application guidance for the up to $12.5 million in funding from the EDA, up to $20 million from Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and up to $2.5 million from the Small Business Administration (SBA), and up to $500,000 from Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
Funding from these programs has been aligned in this FFO to attract projects that seek to take a comprehensive approach towards economic diversification and worker advancement in implementing their economic development strategic plans. Experience has shown that projects which integrate both economic development and workforce development solutions with broad community partnerships are more successful than when these solutions are pursued independently.
Therefore, this FFO announces the intent to award grants competitively to partnerships of regionally-driven economic development and workforce development organizations anchored in impacted coal communities. These grants will enable grantees to build economic resilience, industry diversification, and promote new job creation opportunities.