Job opportunities for former miners - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Job opportunities for former miners

(Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC) (Source: Kelvin Reynolds/WBRC)

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded a $1.2 million grant to spur economic growth in Alabama counties hit hard by job losses in the coal and mining industries.

The grant goes to the Southern Research Institute based in Birmingham. They will use it to create what's called a 'Prosperity Fund' for mining communities in Jefferson, Walker, Fayette, and Tuscaloosa counties.

The Prosperity Fund will build connections between entrepreneurs in west Alabama and economic development agencies and non-profits across the nation.

The goal is to encourage the growth of automotive, chemical, and forestry companies in the four mining community counties.

"Many of these employees have a wide range variety of skills that can be applicable in other areas," State Sen. Greg Reed of Jasper explained. His legislative district includes all four areas.

Those people could get additional training for new jobs in community colleges or some four year colleges, Reed added.

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