Thursday, January 25, 2024

National Assn. Of Counties Announces Participants In Building Resilient Economies In Coal Communities Action Challenge; Somerset And Forest Counties Included In PA

On January 24, the
National Association of Counties announced seven communities spanning 11 counties will be the recipients of individualized planning assistance and peer learning support through the Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities (BRECC) Action Challenge

This marks the second year for the BRECC Action Challenge, which launched in 2023 with the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration. 

Its goal is to strengthen and grow opportunities in local economies shaped by coal industries.

The 2024 BRECC Action Challenge communities in PA include--

-- Forest County, Pa.: In northwest Pennsylvania, Forest County is experiencing declines in employment connected to the closure of a coal mine and related coal-related industries. Partnering with the local school system and regional council of governments, the Forest County team will pursue strategies to expand and diversify employment opportunities across the county.  

-- Somerset County, Pa.: In the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, Somerset County is currently home to 18 mining operators. Downturns in the coal industry have resulted in job loss and adverse impacts on local businesses, specifically suppliers of mining equipment. This team seeks to support impacted employees and businesses by pursuing strategies to attract new and retain existing companies.  

BRECC’s Action Challenge will connect the community teams with economic development experts from the West Virginia Community Development Hub, EntreWorks Consulting and Community Builders

Over the duration of the year, the selected teams will receive technical assistance, support to develop a locally driven economic diversification strategy, preparing community partners to pursue a diverse range of economic revitalization projects.

Beyond the BRECC Action Challenge, BRECC includes a National Network open to all coal communities and featuring resources and bi-monthly virtual learning opportunities on economic diversification strategies. 

Click Here for the complete announcement.

Visit the NACo Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities and US EDA Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities webpages to learn more about this program.

[Posted: January 25, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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