|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||5||$2,968,635|
One region hardest hit by the loss of coal-related jobs is eastern Kentucky. As the region begins to reinvent itself, it is starting by reinventing its workforce. In September 2015, EDA awarded $1 million in POWER economic adjustment assistance funds to the Kentucky Cabinet for Finance and Administration to develop a training program to support the creation of an e-commerce ecosystem centered on tourism, agriculture, healthcare, and broadband. The project will leverage KentuckyWired/I-Way, a $300 million statewide, open-access fiber optic network currently underway in eastern Kentucky, by investing in local internet access centers and providing e-commerce training. The training will prepare communities for fiber readiness, and offer support services, including marketing, product development, production efficiency and process improvement, to prepare local companies and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the new IT infrastructure.
With the funding provided through the POWER initiative, eastern Kentucky communities will build upon existing partnerships by establishing direct pathways to retraining and re-employment in two categories: broadband build-out jobs and IT-related work opportunities in targeted sectors. This will allow for an extremely distressed region to diversify its economy and move forward in a global economy.