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POWER Initiative

The Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative

Background

Here in the United States, booming natural gas production, declining costs for renewable energy, accelerating advances in energy efficient technology, flattening demand for electricity, and updated clean air standards are transforming how electric power is generated, priced, and consumed.

These trends are producing beneficial outcomes for many Americans, such as cleaner air and healthier communities, as well as the creation of new jobs in emerging renewable energy industries. At the same time, these trends also directly impact workers and communities who have historically relied on the coal economy for good jobs and economic prosperity. To help these communities adapt to the changing energy landscape and reposition their economies for a prosperous future, the Obama Administration created the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization, or POWER.

What Is POWER?

The POWER Initiative is an integrated, multi-agency effort to invest federal economic and workforce development resources in communities and regions negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy. Under POWER, the term coal economy is used to refer to the complete supply chain of coal-reliant industries. This includes, but is not limited to: coal mining, coal-fired power plants, and related transportation, logistics, and supply chain manufacturing.

You can learn more about POWER by clicking on any of the following links. Links to other pages that contain information about additional POWER topics can be found in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.

POWER Vision: Collaborative Partnerships for Economic Prosperity

In order for impacted coal communities to successfully diversify their local and regional economies, POWER prioritizes targeting federal resources to projects and activities that:

  • Will produce multiple economic and workforce development outcomes promoting regional economic growth and diversification, new job creation, and re-employment opportunities for displaced coal economy workers; and
  • Are specifically identified under local and regional economic development plans that were collaboratively produced by diverse local and regional stakeholders. These can include, and are not limited to
    • economic development organizations
    • local governments
    • planning organizations
    • labor unions
    • state and local workforce agencies
    • institutions of higher education and other job training and adult education providers
    • supportive services and human services providers

The Role of EDA Under POWER

The EDA definition of “economic development” states in part that “Economic Development requires effective, collaborative institutions focused on advancing mutual gain for the public and the private sector (emphasis added).”

As the lead federal POWER agency, EDA’s role is to facilitate planning, collaboration and coordination among participating federal agencies to ensure that:

  • POWER grant funds are competitively awarded to those projects designed to produce transformational economic diversification and workforce development outcomes; and
  • Multiple federal funding streams are successfully aligned and integrated to support various projects, and are invested in discrete, non-duplicative activities.

POWER Eligibility

There is no pre-defined eligibility list of impacted coal communities. POWER funds are designated for communities and regions that can reasonably demonstrate how changes in the coal economy have resulted, and/or are anticipated to result in job losses and layoffs in any of the following commercial sectors:

  • Coal Mining, and/or
  • Coal-Fired Power Plants, and/or
  • Related Manufacturing / Transportation Logistics Supply Chain Businesses and Industries

Who Can I Contact for More Information About POWER+?

Inquiries about any aspect of POWER+ can be submitted by email to POWER@eda.gov.