Senior Administration Officials and KY Governor Steve Beshear Announce POWER Initiative

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by NADO Admin

Today, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jerry Abramson, Senior Advisor to the President Brian Deese, and Lillian Salerno, Administrator of USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service, in Lexington, Kentucky today to announce the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative (https://www NULL.whitehouse NULL.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/27/fact-sheet-partnerships-opportunity-and-workforce-and-economic-revitaliz). The Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will lead the POWER initiative, which is a coordinated effort among multiple federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, using already appropriated funds to make a down payment on the POWER+ Plan (https://www NULL.whitehouse NULL.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2016/assets/fact_sheets/investing-in-coal-communities-workers-and-technology-the-power-plan NULL.pdf), a suite of proposals in the President’s FY 2016 Budget that invests in coal communities, workers, and technology. The goal of the POWER initiative is to effectively align, leverage and target a range of federal economic and workforce development programs and resources to assist communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector.

The POWER initiative will award grants competitively on two parallel tracks to partnerships anchored in affected communities. This year roughly $28 to $38 million will be awarded, primarily using EDA and Department of Labor resources, and also using funds from the Small Business Administration and the Appalachian Regional Commission. These grants will serve as catalytic funding that will leverage and target additional investments from the private sector and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grants will enable communities to organize themselves to respond on behalf of affected workers and businesses, develop a comprehensive strategic plan that charts their economic future, and execute coordinated economic and workforce development activities. These activities will seek to diversify economies, create jobs in new or existing industries, attract new sources of job-creating investment, and provide a range of workforce services and skills training resulting in industry-recognized credentials for high-quality, in-demand jobs.

In addition to the POWER initiative, EDA is collaborating with the National Association of Counties and the National Association of Development Organizations to support the economic diversification efforts of coal country communities through an Innovation Challenge (http://www NULL.naco NULL.org/programs/csd/Pages/Innovation-Challenge NULL.aspx).

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