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:

Now Open

Application Ready

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

We offer grants of up to $100,000, proportional to the size of the potential federal funding amount. Grants support a range of costs associated with developing applications, including hiring a grant writer or other experts and qualifying as private matching funds. We also offer technical assistance, including helping identify funding programs your project is eligible for and reviewing the federal proposal before submission. Learn more about our Application-Ready support here and fill out our inquiry form to schedule a call with someone on our team.


Application Window Closed

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?

Apply to our Coal Communities Get Ready! Challenge! Through the Challenge, launched in April 2023, we will identify a cohort of 8-10 organizations that are building readiness to apply for federal funds. This opportunity is designed for organizations that have little to no experience applying for federal funds. Each awardee will receive one-year grants of $150,000 and customized technical assistance that will together help build readiness to apply for and manage federal funding. The application window is currently closed but stay tuned for future announcements!

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. If you are a private company interested in developing a project in an energy community and are interested in our assistance, click here to learn more about how we can help.
  • 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.