Grant extension offers additional assistance to unemployed coal industry workers
Written by Basinradio on September 25, 2019
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Mark Gordon announced Tuesday that workers impacted by coal industry layoffs will have renewed access to $1.7 million in grant funding.
The funding has been made available through a grant extension applied for by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) through the U.S. Department of Labor. It will expand the ability of DWS to assist displaced coal industry workers through workplace planning, training and supportive services.
“This grant funding comes at a critical time for our state,” Governor Gordon said. “As we adjust to changes in the economy, it’s important for our workforce to have opportunities and resources that can help them remain in Wyoming. I want to thank DWS Director Robin Sessions Cooley and her staff for diligently pursuing this funding, as well as the Department of Labor for the expedited extension.”
Cooley said that while she is encouraged by ongoing negotiations that would make the currently closed mines in Campbell County fully operational, she also remains committed to assisting impacted workers and the community at large. “This award is an important investment option for Wyoming communities,” Director Cooley said. “DWS is doing all it can to support Wyoming coal workers. This funding is another tool available to them.”
Coal industry workers who have lost their jobs due to layoffs are eligible for tuition assistance to train for new careers and other services through the POWER Grant (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce Economic Revitalization). The POWER Grant was first awarded to Wyoming in 2017, shortly after coal industry layoffs in 2016. The grant’s intent is to support economic diversification for communities negatively impacted by downturns in the coal economy. The funding supports workforce development activities that prepare dislocated workers for jobs in high-demand occupations aligned with regional economic strategies.
The original grant was slated to end on Sept. 30, 2019, but the recent extension means the funding will be available through June of 2021.
Individuals interested in pursuing this opportunity or other workforce programs should call 307-777-8650. In-person assistance is available at DWS’ 20 local workforce centers, located throughout the state. A complete listing of center locations can be found at wyomingworkforce.org