The Federal Access Center is a one-stop resource hub to help coal communities secure public funding for local economic solutions.

With historic levels of funding for economic development available through a range of federal agencies, The Center will help the most economically distressed coal communities secure the level of federal investment needed to create and sustain successful economic transition.

Read our announcement press release.

Billions of dollars in public funds are currently available to coal communities.

The opportunity to leverage federal funding to strengthen local economies has never been greater. But this funding is difficult to access for capacity-constrained organizations and localities. A range of barriers—such as high matching fund requirements, time-intensive application processes, and lack of access to experts—currently prevent many effective organizations from submitting competitive proposals. The Center will help to ensure that coal communities are able to overcome these barriers and take full advantage of this historic opportunity.

Projects We Support

We aim to help local organizations submit competitive federal applications for community-led transition projects that advance equitable and inclusive local economies. The Center’s grants and technical assistance support organizations to apply for federal funds and conduct early-stage planning efforts to scale projects that advance Our Transition Framework:

Community Economic Development

Community economic development projects in promising sectors, including, but not limited to: clean energy, sustainable agriculture, reclamation, tourism, and the knowledge economy.


Workforce Development

Workforce development projects that train coal-affected workers and community members for living-wage, 21st-century jobs in these sectors.

Learn more about Workforce Development projects

Broadband Access and Affordability

Broadband access and affordability projects that create economic development opportunities and reduce economic and social inequities.

Learn more about broadband projects

Types of Support

We currently offer two types of support based on your project stage:

Application Ready

Do you already have an economic development project developed and are ready to apply for federal funding?

Application-Ready applicants should have already developed a concept for the project for which they seek federal funding and plan to submit a federal proposal in the near term. Grant applicants should have already identified the federal opportunity they seek to apply for, but technical assistance applicants can receive guidance on available opportunities.

Early Stage

Are you still working to define and develop an economic development project and need more support before you’re ready to apply for federal funding?

Early Stage applicants do not need to have a concept for the project for which they will seek federal funding. But they should have a plan for developing a project (including a timeline) and intend to pursue federal funds upon the project’s completion. Activities may include supporting community-driven, inclusive planning processes and consultation to assess readiness to apply for federal funds.

Available Support

Through grants and technical assistance offered on a rolling basis, we help communities identify, prepare, and apply for federal funding opportunities.


We provide direct grants proportional to the size of the potential federal funding amount, up to $100,000, to support a range of costs associated with developing applications, including:

  • Engaging experts for research, analysis, and/or grant writing
  • Organizing or deepening inclusive community partnerships
  • Conducting stakeholder engagement and support community planning
  • Qualifying as private matching funds

Technical Assistance

We offer individualized technical assistance provided by our team of experts to help organizations:

  • Identify funding programs your project is eligible for
  • Understand the program’s application process and requirements
  • Identify and build relationships with federal program contacts
  • Review the grant proposal before submission

We also have experts available to help communities launch community-driven planning processes to identify fundable projects.

Take the First Step

Let us know about your project with our interest form, and we’ll reach out directly to learn more.


  • 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and local governments serving coal communities are eligible to apply for grants and technical assistance.
  • We welcome proposals from coal-impacted communities across the nation.
  • We prioritize proposals from those communities that have been economically hardest hit by the decline of the coal industry and that have the highest concentration of marginalized populations.

Contact Natalie Roper at [email protected] if you aren’t sure whether you qualify for assistance.


Getting Started with Federal Grants

With historic levels of funding now available through a range of federal agencies, we want to help ensure that coal communities can apply for these funds and advance economic transition efforts on the ground. We’ve compiled resources to help you learn more about the opportunity.

Explore resources

Get Started

Complete our simple interest form to get started. We will follow up to learn more about your project and needs.