Charlottesville, VA – The Just Transition Fund (JTF), the only national philanthropic initiative focused solely on coal community economic transition, is pleased to announce it has provided commitments to United Mine Workers of America Career Centers, Inc. (UMWACC) to help unlock a federal Build Back Better grant enabling the UMWACC to recruit and train more than 500 dislocated miners and others in southwestern Pennsylvania for jobs in the robotics industry.
The Just Transition Fund along with Heinz Endowments, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and the Climate Jobs National Resource Center provided $750,000 in matching funds to UMWACC. The matching funds will help UMWACC unlock $2.9 million in federal funding to train dislocated miners and spouses over the next three years, placing them into careers ranging from health care to heavy equipment operations to engineering.
“We are committed to assisting organizations in securing and leveraging federal funding to help rebuild and revitalize coal communities,” said Heidi Binko, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the JTF. “We’re very privileged and excited to help UMWACC unlock and put to use the Building Back Better grant. The work UMWACC is doing in helping train dislocated miners into new careers is crucial in helping communities thrive through the transition to a low-carbon future.”
“This is a critical first step in rebuilding coalfield communities by providing training for those who have been impacted by the closure of coal mines,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “There remains an incredible amount of work to do to meet the need for good-paying union jobs. We appreciate all those who contributed to making this happen today, but we cannot forget that we have by no means come close to addressing the larger issues here.”
UMWACC and other private nonprofit training centers have been hampered by changes in the way federal job retraining funds are allocated. The UMWACC was on the verge of closing the doors of its state-of-the-art facility in Ruff Creek because it could only receive the Building Back Better grant once the matching funds were secured.
About the Just Transition Fund
The Just Transition Fund launched in 2015 to help communities secure funding through the Obama administration’s POWER Initiative, the first federal program aimed at helping communities impacted by the changing coal economy. The JTF has since evolved its approach to catalyze and support the national just transition movement more broadly, while helping more communities tap into an expanding number of federal funding opportunities. The JTF has developed a proven approach utilizing complementary grantmaking, technical assistance, and field-strengthening strategies, all of which are informed by a belief that the most sustainable solutions come from local leaders and are built from the ground up.<< Back to news