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State and Local Workforce Activities

West Virginia (June 13, 2016)
Department of Labor Awards $4.3 Million in Incremental Funding to Help West Virginia Coal Workers Affected by Layoffs

In June 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $1.8 million National Dislocated Worker Grant to Workforce West Virginia to provide reemployment and training services to about 200 dislocated workers in West Virginia affected by recent layoffs in the coal mining industry.

Since then, the number of layoffs has grown as the demand for coal decreases. The State received additional awards of $5,636,376 in April 2014 and $3,288,902 in September 2015 to serve significantly increasing enrollments, which included 1,700 participants from about 290 employers.

With this latest incremental award, Workforce West Virginia will receive $4,318,182 for the continuation of these services to the 1,700 participants already enrolled in this project, as well as to about 300 additional dislocated workers. This brings the total funds awarded to date for this project to $15,046,460.

Background:

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 to support communities impacted by changes in the coal mining industry.

Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, NDWGs temporarily expand the service capacity of dislocated worker training and employment programs at the state and local levels by providing funding assistance in response to large, unexpected economic events which cause significant job losses. NDWGs generally provide resources to states and local workforce investment boards to reemploy laid-off workers quickly by offering training to increase occupational skills.