Introducing the Federal Access Center

Since the Just Transition Fund began, we have helped our community partners leverage $342 million in public and private funding. We created the Federal Access Center to help more communities secure federal grants and scale local economic solutions.

For more background on why the Federal Access Center is needed now, read our press release.

Available Support

  • Application-Ready Grants

Application-ready grants up to $25,000 can be used for a variety of purposes to help your organization prepare to apply for a specific federal program, including:

  • Engage experts for research, analysis, and/or grant-writing
  • Organize or deepen inclusive community partnerships
  • Conduct stakeholder engagement and support community planning
  • Qualify as private matching funds
  • Application-Ready Technical Assistance

Application-ready technical assistance is provided by a team of federal funding experts who can support a range of needs related to the federal application process. Our experts can help your organization:

  • 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

Early-Stage Grants and Technical Assistance

We also offer a limited number of grants and technical assistance for early-stage projects that have a long-term goal of leveraging federal funding and demonstrate the potential to achieve concrete economic outcomes. Activities may include supporting community-driven, inclusive planning processes and consultation to assess readiness to apply for federal funds.


In addition to the above, the Just Transition Fund provides specialized support for communities seeking to access public funding for broadband projects. Learn more about our broadband-specific support.


501(c)(3) non-profit organizations are eligible for grants and technical assistance through the Federal Access Center. Local public-sector entities (e.g., local governments, tourism authorities) are eligible for technical assistance only. Coalitions developing a joint application for federal funds should also apply jointly. Contact Natalie Roper at [email protected] if you aren’t sure whether you qualify for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What types of projects do we support and prioritize?

    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 federal applications and early-stage planning efforts related to:

    • Community economic development projects in promising sectors, including, but not limited to: clean energy, sustainable agriculture, reclamation, tourism, and the knowledge economy
    • Workforce development projects that train coal-affected workers and community members for living-wage, 21st-century jobs in these sectors
    • Broadband access and affordability projects that create economic development opportunities and reduce economic and social inequities

    We prioritize support for work that is led by and serves low-income populations and Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color most impacted by the transition. We look for projects that show significant potential to create local economic impact and can serve as models.

  • What geographic areas do we prioritize?

    We prioritize proposals from frontline coal communities in the following priority states: KY, VA, WV, NC, PA, OH, IL, IN, MO, MN, WY, AZ, CO, MT, NM, and TX.

    If you work outside of one of these priority states, we still want to hear from you!

  • What’s the difference between “application-ready” and “early-stage” projects?

    The Federal Access Center’s inquiry form will help us know which type best describes your project.


    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.


    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.

  • Which JTF grant program should I apply to?

    Qualified organizations are able to apply for Federal Access Center grants and support through our regular grantmaking cycles. However, one or the other might be most appropriate for your project.

    Apply for a Federal Access Center grant if:

    • You need additional capacity or matching funds to develop a federal proposal for an economic development, workforce, development, or broadband program or project. (We provide this support through Application-ready grants.)
    • You need to conduct initial planning to develop a project concept, and expect to seek federal funding for that project in the long term. (We provide this support through Early-stage grants.)

    Apply to a regular grant cycle if:

    • You’re implementing an economic development, workforce development, or broadband program or project (with or without federal funding).
    • You’re seeking funds to support policy advocacy.
    • Your project does not need assistance accessing federal funds.


Additional Resources

Apply for Assistance

Complete our interest form to get started.