$1 million guide will help rural economies make transition from coal dependency

On April 24, 2018, the Just Transition Fund received a $1 million grant from Google.org to support the creation of a guide for communities and workforces affected by the decline of the U.S. coal industry.

The grant, part of Google’s $50 million initiative on the future of work, is one of several announced today by Google.org. Coal communities around the country are facing tremendous economic distress, brought on as market forces drive coal mines and plants out of business. The grant supports the Fund’s technical assistance and fieldwork to help these communities respond to local economic challenges, including lost jobs and tax revenue.

In addition to addressing these problems, communities must also navigate the changing nature of work to chart a path forward,” said Heidi Binko, JTF’s co-founder and executive director. “Based on what we learn from our work in the field, Google’s support will help us create a resource guide for communities in transition—from Appalachia to the Rust Belt to Montana.

As the only national organization solely dedicated to helping coal communities, the Fund has been working for the past three years with a range of nonprofit, public sector, and philanthropic institutions. “We’re thrilled to have Google.org’s support as we work to help expand economic opportunity in distressed places.

Through the Google.org Work Initiative, we’re supporting new efforts to help people prepare for and connect to jobs in the changing economy. We’re proud to support the Just Transition Fund through this initiative, as they work to help communities with transitioning workforces to prepare for jobs in emerging fields,” said Andrew Dunckelman, Economic Opportunity Lead at Google.org.

Binko said the project will have long-term value: “The resources we develop will not only help communities affected by the downturn of the coal industry today, but will likely prove useful for other communities reliant on the fossil-fuel industry that will struggle with transition tomorrow.

Photo via Adobe Stock.

See Just Transition Fund website.

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