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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce



March 2016 Newsletter

Obama Administration Announces $65.8 Million Available for Economic and Workforce Development in Coal-Impacted Communities

On behalf of the Obama Administration, EDA and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) on March 17, announced the availability of $65.8 million through the Obama Administration’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative to communities which have historically relied on the coal economy for economic stability to develop new strategies for economic growth and worker advancement. 

With this announcement, communities and regions that have been negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy -- including mining, coal fired power plants and related transportation, logistics and manufacturing supply chains -- can apply for resources to help strengthen their economies and workforces.  Funds are available for a range of activities, including:

  • Developing projects which diversify local and regional economies, create jobs in new and/or existing industries, attract new sources of job-creating investment and provide a range of workforce services and skills training;
  • Building partnerships to attract and invest in the economic future of coal-impacted communities;
  • Increasing additional capacity and other technical assistance fostering long term economic growth and opportunity in coal-impacted communities.

In announcing the funding EDA Assistant Secretary Jay Williams said, “Through the POWER Initiative, the Obama Administration has committed to helping coal-impacted communities diversify their economies amidst the changing power sector landscape. EDA is pleased to lead this important initiative with our federal partners to help communities across the nation access federal support to create jobs, attract capital investments and strengthen workforce development in their regions.”

ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl added, “Many communities across Appalachia – from coal mines to Main Streets – have taken huge economic hits as the world changes the way it produces and consumes electricity. The POWER Initiative can be a game-changer for Appalachia by partnering with these communities and investing Federal resources to support local initiatives that will forge sustainable economic paths for the future.”

The POWER Initiative is a multi-agency effort aligning and targeting federal economic and workforce development resources to communities and workers that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.  The POWER Initiative is part of President Obama’s POWER+ Plan, a broader set of investments in coal-impacted communities, workers, and coal technology that is in his FY 2017 Budget. 

Additional information about the POWER Initiative, including application materials, is available at www.eda.gov/power  or www.arc.gov/power. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Awards will be announced later this year.

2016 EDA National Conference

EDA National Conference logo Register today for EDA’s National Conference, April 7-8, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Speakers will include:

  • Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker
  • Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews
  • Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams
  • Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu
  • U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH)
  • Director of Office of Management and Budget, Shaun Donovan
  • Deputy Assistant to the President, Jerry Abramson
  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser
  • Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
  • Former Atlanta Mayor and current Chairman of the Board and CEO of Purpose Built Communities Shirley Franklin
  • Karen Keogh, JP Morgan Chase
  • Michael Burcham, President, CEO, The Nashville Entrepreneur Center
  • John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE
  • Andrew Yang, Founder & CEO, Venture for America

Angie Martinez named Regional Director of EDA’s Denver Regional Office

Photo of Angie Martinez Angie Martinez has been named as the Regional Director of EDA’s Denver Regional Office. Angie joined EDA in 2009 as Director of External Affairs where she has led the agency’s outreach to external stakeholders, congressional and intergovernmental offices and the media. Angie has been instrumental in building stronger partnerships among EDA stakeholders and elevating our agency within and outside the ferderal government. She assumes her new role effective April 17, 2016. She assumes her new role effective April 17, 2016.

Congratulations Angie!