U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) applauds the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) award of up to $11 million to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP
) in Hazard, Kentucky to provide training and employment services for approximately 1,450 laid off coal miners in Eastern Kentucky.
"This award will ensure that our former miners will have access to the assistance they need during a critical time in their lives," said Congressman Rogers. "EKCEP has worked diligently to help our laid off coal miners and their spouses get the training, education and certifications they need to build their resumes and find new employment that will support their families. I applaud EKCEP's commitment to compete for necessary funding to keep these important programs going."
Over the last three years alone, more than 8,000 coal miners have been laid off in Kentucky's Appalachian Region. During that same time, EKCEP assisted 3,218 dislocated coal miners and their spouses through the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (HOME) program, which was developed with a National Emergency Grant from the DOL Employment and Training Administration. This new grant will continue those services, bringing total funds for this project to nearly $22.5 million.
"The need to continue services for our laid off miners and their spouses remains high. These additional funds will enable EKCEP and our community partners to maintain services to assist these men and women enter new training, develop new skills, and enter new career paths," said Jeff Whitehead, Executive Director of EKCEP. "We are very grateful that the Department of Labor is maintaining its support for our region’s unemployed workers, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Rogers on his efforts to improve the lives of Eastern Kentucky’s residents.”
EKCEP's programs work in concert with the mission of SOAR - Shaping Our Appalachian Region, helping launch a number of economic diversity and workforce development opportunities in Eastern Kentucky. Together, they have supported new projects and high-tech businesses in the region, including Interapt, BitSource, Teleworks USA and the eKY Advanced Manufacturing Institute.
For training and employment assistance, visit ekcep.org.