Montana granted 4.6 million dollars to help Colstrip coal worker - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Montana granted 4.6 million dollars to help Colstrip coal workers for retraining

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

With the upcoming partial closure of the coal fired power plant, hundreds of workers will be losing their jobs. Now, the U.S. government has awarded 4.6 million dollars to Montana to help retrain coal workers.On Tuesday, the governor's office announced two million dollars of the money will be immediately available to begin workforce retraining. Several Montana lawmakers attempted to require two of the power plant's owners to compensate Colstrip and nearby communities for economic losses when two of the plants' four units shut down by 2022. That effort failed. Tuesday's announcement has to be seen as a blessing for folks in Colstrip who have seen their home values plummet and their futures placed in dire jeopardy.
John Williams who is the mayor of Colstrip said this grant to Colstrip is a proactive move by the state of Montana and federal government. He said they were able to receive money by the workplace, innovation, and opportunity act. The act is designed to strengthen and improve our nation's public workforce system and helping get Americans into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retrain skilled workers.
The mayor said there's a lot of fear and uncertainty in Colstrip but this is a step about moving forward. He said several hundred coal workers will be out of a job in the year 2022 and there will be opportunities for those being offered retraining to go to nearby colleges.
"I look at this as a real opportunity for those colleges to gear up and become involved with training for relocated workers," Mayor Williams said. "And of course, my particular concern is for those folks who will be impacted in Colstrip."
The federal grant being granted is up to 4.6 million dollars. Two million of that will be available right away.

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