Alabama’s coal communities have been hit hard by job losses over the past few years, but now there’s an opportunity for those communities to get a little extra help.

According to Alabama State Sen. Gerald Allen, the U.S. Congress is offering $50 million in grant funds to Alabama and 12 other Appalachian states. That money will help build competitive a local workforce through job-training opportunities, job creation initiatives and small-business development, along with enhancing access to broadband internet services in affected areas.

“The incentive package that Congress came up with is to be able to give communities the opportunity to find new job opportunities, re-train and retool these coal miners for new job opportunities and new skills,” Allen said.

On May 24, the Appalachian Regional Commission is hosting an informational meeting at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa. There, the group will provide a detailed overview of the grant application process.

The event is free, but registration is required. If you’d like to attend, visit

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