Additional funding released for Appalachian coal communities

(Public Domain)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The Appalachian Regional Commission says additional funding of nearly $16 million will help diversify economies in coal-mining communities in seven states.

The commission announced Wednesday the funding for 18 projects in Alabama, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia that would create or retain more than 1,700 jobs.

The funding comes from a job-creation organization involving multiple federal agencies, including the U.S. Commerce and Labor departments and the commission.

In a news release, ARC federal co-chair Earl Gohl called the awards “a blueprint for new jobs, fresh opportunities, and a robust economic future for Appalachia.”

ARC, which President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating, has invested more than $92 million over the past year to diversify the economies in 250 counties in 11 states. The commission says Appalachia lost 33,500 coal mining jobs between 2011 and 2016.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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