|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Assistance To Coal Communities||1||$300,000|
|Regional Innovation Strategies||1||$250,000|
Coconino County is located in North Central Arizona and includes land that is part of the Navajo Reservation. Coal mining and coal-fired power generation has been a major part of the regional economy. Recently, coal mines on the reservations of the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe have either closed or experienced substantial reductions in the workforce. The mine closures have severely reduced revenues for the tribes and regional communities.
In addition, the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station located near Page, Arizona is curtailing its operations and has closed one of its generators. The closure of the Navajo Generating Station by 2019 was recently announced, dislocating 430 workers at the facility and an additional 325 workers at the mine that supplies the coal used as fuel by the plant. With this reduction in the labor force, there is a need for economic opportunities and the creation of new, regional industries that will diversify the local economy.
In September 2016, EDA invested $300,000 in Assistance to Coal Communities funds to support Coconino County in implementing their regional resilience initiative project. Project activities include the identification of in-demand workforce development programs and training curriculum, examination of re-employment opportunities for workers in coal-related industries, identification of broadband opportunities, and the development and promotion of industry sector strategies.