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Coal Industry Layoffs Costing Taxpayers Millions

So far, approximately 3,200 workers have lost their jobs, and the trend shows no signs of slowing.

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a supplemental National Dislocated Worker Grant, an additional $3.4 million for Kentucky coal mine workers who need reemployment and training services.

The new funding brings the program total to more than $17 million since March 2013, and should help the nearly 800 workers hurt by recent layoffs. That’s approximately 3,200 dislocated workers, and the trend shows no signs of slowing.

The workers will receive traditional career services, and even training for in-demand jobs in construction, energy and healthcare.

The Department of Labor also hopes that the grant will assist a state-wide effort to build an expanded broadband infrastructure in Eastern Kentucky.

This funding is part of the Obama administration’s efforts to target federal assistance to coal communities and workers harmed by a decades-long trend of job losses. The grant complements the POWER+ Plan proposed in the president’s FY 2016 and FY 2017 budgets and a $2 million award from the department to the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2015 as part of the POWER Initiative.

The department awards grants based on a state’s ability to meet specific guidelines. This program in particular is part of the U.S. secretary of labor’s discretionary fund.

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