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We help scale wraparound workforce development programs that train former coal workers and community members for jobs in the new economy.
We target efforts to improve and expand infrastructure, like broadband, that is essential for an inclusive economic transition.
We leverage public and private resources, and guide policy change to accelerate a just economic transition—from the ground up.
We help local leaders and groups by investing in their economic aspirations and developing the capacity needed to realize them.
Financial support alone is not enough. We combine our grants with technical assistance in the form of transition planning support, help in accessing public funding, and connection with a team of experts.
We highlight best practices, model programs, and innovative solutions to enable leaders to learn from one another and move toward success.
We elevate local perspectives that are essential to achieving effective economic, energy, and climate policy progress.
We promote public investment to stimulate early-stage initiatives and private investment to scale and sustain inclusive growth for the long term.
The Just Transition Fund was established in spring 2015 by Rockefeller Family Fund and the Appalachia Funders Network with the support of six other foundation partners: blue moon fund, Chorus Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, and Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
The Fund was initially created to help local organizations secure funding through the POWER Initiative, the first federal program targeted to communities impacted by the changing coal economy. In the process, we helped jumpstart the engagement of national philanthropy and showcased the innovative, ground-up ways that local communities are working to revitalize their local economies.
We’ve evolved our approach over the years to catalyze and support the national just transition movement more broadly, while helping more communities tap into a growing number of federal funding opportunities.
We focus on mining and power plant communities in major coal-affected areas of the United States. Within these regions, we prioritize support for communities experiencing the most distress, taking into account socioeconomic factors that make economic transition even more challenging.
Areas of the western and southwestern United States are well known for their prolific energy production, with 40 percent of the nation’s coal being mined in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana. But the region, including many Indigenous communities that have inhabited it for hundreds of years, is beginning to reel as coal plants and mines close.
The Midwest has a long and deep relationship with coal, experiencing booms and busts throughout the 20th century and into recent decades with the expansion of mines in the Illinois Basin. But as demand for the region’s coal declines and cleaner energy outcompetes coal power, more midwestern states and communities are embracing the need for long-term planning, community investment, and policy change.
The rugged landscape of Appalachia’s coal-bearing region is famous for its ecological abundance, narrow ridgelines, and steep valleys. But centuries of industrial-scale and increasingly mechanized coal mining operations have reduced hundreds of mountains to rubble through the use of mountaintop removal mining while producing a legacy of persistent poverty and pollution.
The Just Transition Fund was founded on a belief in the power of community, collaboration, and the potential for shared prosperity in the places hardest hit by the transition away from coal.
How we advance economic solutions that are equitable, inclusive, and low-carbon.