Gov. Wolf announces $6.9 million are being devoted to PA’ coal communities
One of the projects that will benefit from the grant is being carried out by Pennsylvania State University.
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Described as an investment for communities with economies impacted by a changing energy market, Governor Tom Wolf announced on Oct. 17th that $6.9 million will go to nine different projects in order to diversify economies in Pennsylvania’s coal-impacted communities.
Gayle Manchin, Federal Co-Chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and his team were also part of the event. Manchin said that these projects are resulting in life-changing transformation in PA — affecting the whole Appalachian region.
According to Gov. Wolf’s official page, the ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative seeks to diversify economies in communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of energy production.
Gov. Wolf added by saying that those nine projects will create jobs, diversify local economies, inspire stewardship, and improve quality of life for Pennsylvanians.
One of the projects that the ARC POWER Initiative grants will support is the Partnerships to Advance Learning in STEM (PALS) Strategic Expansion Plan, by ASSET inc. This project will help four regional teams develop action plans to implement the PALS tutoring program, which engages pre-service educators to provide no-cost virtual tutoring to underserved K–8 learners in their communities.
By accelerating the learning of those students, PALS tutoring program aims to address the problem of rural students across the state, specially in coal counties, who are often in underfunded and poor-performing schools. Because of these conditions, they demonstrate significant achievement gaps and challenges with teacher recruitment and retention.
Another project that the grant is benefiting is called Realizing Automated and Advanced Manufacturing Processes (RAAMP), by Pennsylvania State University. By training and upskilling an existing workforce disenfranchised by the eroding coal economy, this program addresses the shortage of skilled labor — and also helps regional manufacturers modernize their production capabilities. Over the course of the 3-year grant period, RAAMP will empower Appalachian business, employees and students.
If you want to read more about these and the other programs that are being supported, click here.