McConnell Helps Secure Funding for Laid Off Coal Miners
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded a $1.75 million competitive federal grant to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP). The funding will be used to continue EKCEP’s work to assist individuals who lost their jobs due to the decline in the coal industry and the effects of President Obama’s War on Coal.
Last month, Senator McConnell contacted U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta in support of EKCEP’s efforts. “Coal miners in the Commonwealth – in Eastern Kentucky in particular – have suffered enormously over the last several years, resulting in the loss of thousands of high-wage jobs in a region facing serious economic challenges,” Senator McConnell said. “Those lost coal jobs have had a negative and wide-ranging impact on workers and families in the region, as well as on the local economy. I have been proud to work with Jeff Whitehead and EKCEP to support competitive grant funding in the past for the organization, which allows EKCEP to provide essential reemployment and training services for dislocated coal workers in Kentucky.”
“EKCEP is extremely grateful for this award. These funds will support our region’s on-going efforts to move our economy forward by furthering our workforce retraining and re-employment initiatives,” said Jeff Whitehead, Executive Director of EKCEP. “We are also very appreciative of the U.S. DOL’s partnership in these efforts and Senator McConnell’s strong belief in our workforce and his enduring commitment to these efforts.”
Since 2013, Senator McConnell has worked to secure over $27 million in federal competitive grants from DOL for EKCEP to continue its services to assist dislocated coal miners.