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New Investments in Appalachia Energy Communities, Funding Opportunities, and Events

April 5, 2022

Dear Energy Community Supporter,

In just the past three weeks, multiple federal agencies have announced new funding opportunities for energy communities across the nation, including five announcements specifically for the Appalachia region at an IWG-run event on March 18. To learn more about those funding opportunities, additional open federal funding, opportunities closing soon, and events, please read on.

New Investments in Appalachia Energy Communities

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, IWG Executive Director Brian Anderson

On March 18, IWG leadership, federal government officials, and leaders from private, philanthropy, nonprofit and academic entities gathered in Charleston, WV for a listening session to announce new public and private sector funding for Appalachia’s energy communities. These funding opportunities support the advancement of workforce development and training, energy infrastructure projects and environmental clean-up efforts across the Appalachian region. Senior administration officials including Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, West Virginia officials including Senator Joe Manchin and Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin, and IWG leadership including Executive Director Brian Anderson and IWG Co-Chairs Brian Deese and Gina McCarthy were in attendance.

Read more about specific funding announcements in this IWG news story.

Success Story

After decades of reliance on the oil and gas industry as a primary employer, New Orleans, LA is revitalizing its economy, modernizing its workforce, and restoring its community health. The expansion of Odyssey House Louisiana is a great example of federal funding at work supporting these efforts.

Odyssey House is Louisiana’s largest addiction treatment provider that also offers primary care and mental health services, all under one roof. When Odyssey House wanted to renovate and expand its historic buildings to increase capacity, they called on Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) for help. Thanks to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Community Economic Development (CED) grant, GCHP and Odyssey House had the necessary funds to make those renovations.

This expansion created more job opportunities in healthcare and gave Odyssey House the space and workforce to serve about 2,000 people per month. Watch this video from HHS for more information on this incredible success story.

New Funding Opportunities

  • U.S. Department of Energy Announces 22 Communities Are Selected for the Communities LEAP Pilot Initiative. This first-of-its-kind program provides targeted technical assistance to energy-overburdened areas to develop action plans that reduce energy burdens, increase energy resilience, and create long-term jobs and economic growth. More on this program.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission Awards Nearly $21 Million Through Its Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. ARC is funding an additional 21 projects impacting 211 counties through its POWER program to spur economic opportunities in those coal-impacted communities. Read more here.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests More than $20 Million in Rural Communities Vital to Energy Production. This funding, which is part of the $465 million the Administration has invested through USDA Rural Development in Appalachia’s energy communities, will help communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Read this USDA press release for more.
  • U.S. Department of Energy Announces $5 Million to Launch Lithium Battery Workforce Initiative. Last month, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced the launch of a national workforce development strategy for lithium battery manufacturing, which will include training programs in energy communities. Click here for more details.
  • U.S. Economic Development Administration Awards $2.36 Million Grant to Pikeville Medical Center in Kentucky. Part of EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment, this grant will help Pikeville Medical Center purchase new equipment to meet patient demand and critical healthcare needs. More in this EDA press release.
  • U.S. Department of the Interior Announces $215 Million in Investments Available to West Virginia. During the IWG Appalachia listening session in March, the Interior Department highlighted relevant Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to the state of West Virginia and announced that nearly $215 million in investments is available to the state. Read more here.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Awards $200 Thousand Grant to Coalfield Development Corporation. EPA’s Brownfields Job Training program supports environmental job training. It will enable Coalfield Development to take advantage of jobs created by the cleanup of Brownfield sites and will help individuals in the area overcome a variety of barriers to employment. More in this EPA press release.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant. This grant provides technical assistance and/or training to assist communities, Indian Tribes and nonprofit corporations in identifying and planning for community facility needs in their area. Learn more here.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines

The following funding opportunities have upcoming application deadlines in the next six weeks and can all be found on the IWG’s online clearinghouse.

Events & Additional Resources

  • Access resources from the IWG’s Repurposing Fossil Energy Assets webinar. The IWG and United States Energy Association (USEA) hosted a half-day, virtual workshop on March 30 exploring strategies for leveraging existing fossil energy assets, including closed coal mines, coal power plants, and orphaned oil and gas wells, to spur economic revitalization in energy communities. Attendees heard real-life examples of successful reclamation projects and specific federal funding energy communities can apply for. A website where visitors can search for fossil assets across the country was also debuted at the webinar. Please send any feedback or suggestions for the website to: fossilassets@netl.doe.gov. All resources from the webinar can be found on the IWG past events page.
  • Technical Assistance Webinars from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA is continuing its series of webinars to help applicants understand the broadband programs available through the BIL and prepare them for submitting high-quality applications. Register for the next webinar on Wednesday, April 6.
  • Attend Virtual Kick-off to Regional Carbon Management Applicant Education Workshops. Join the United States Energy Association (USEA) and Energy Department’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) on April 7 for the kick-off of a workshop series for BIL funding applicants interested in developing large-scale carbon management-related projects. Register here.
  • President Biden Proposes FY 2023 Budget. The new FY23 budget includes more than $9 billion in funding for programs that align with the IWG’s efforts to support economic revitalization, job creation, and environmental clean-up in energy communities across the nation. Read more.

On behalf of all IWG member agencies, thank you for your continued interest in programs that support America’s energy communities. Please feel free to share this newsletter with others in your network who may benefit.

Best regards,

Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization
Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory
U.S. Department of Energy

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