Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program supports families impacted by coal layoffs
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear on Wednesday congratulated the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) on its award of $7.5 million in federal funds to continue the agency’s efforts to support families impacted by layoffs in the region’s coal industry.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the additional National Emergency Grant award to EKCEP to continue its Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) initiative, which provides re-employment services to out-of-work miners and their spouses.
The effort mirrors goals of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative, which Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers launched in December.
“We are committed to our citizens in eastern Kentucky as we work together to build a more diverse economy in the region,” Beshear said. “I applaud EKCEP for the work they are doing on the front line to improve career opportunities through education and job training for our out-of-work miners.”
The SOAR initiative aims to attack regional obstacles from many angles – by emphasizing public, private and philanthropic partnerships to address and implement improvements in education, health, work-readiness, infrastructure and more.
“Ensuring the future success of eastern Kentucky is a top priority,” said Tom Zawacki , secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. “This starts with fostering the assorted skills of its people. Programs like EKCEP’s H.O.M.E. initiative are providing relevant job training and creating the employer partnerships necessary to put our skilled workforce back to work.”
The new grant brings the total funds awarded to EKCEP for the project to $11.3 million.
To date, nearly 2,000 people have enrolled for assistance through H.O.M.E. Nearly 900 people have gained new employment, and more than 600 are in job training.