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State gets fed grant to help coal jobless

Apr 13, 2017 The Associated Press

CHEYENNE (AP) -- The State of Wyoming has been awarded up to $2 million in federal funds to retrain workers in the northeast part of the state who lost their jobs in the coal industry.

The money can be used to assist those who worked directly for coal companies or indirectly in manufacturing and transportation businesses associated with coal.

Wyoming is the nation's top coal-producing state by far, but industry slowdowns have cut employment in the industry. Three Wyoming coal companies have filed for bankruptcy, although one now is emerging from it under an approved plan.

Workers in Campbell, Converse, Crook, Johnson, Niobrara, Sheridan and Weston counties are eligible for the new grant funds.

Eligible individuals can receive up to $6,500 toward the cost of a retraining program.

Resources and information about the program are available at state Department of Workforce Services centers.

Wyoming recent;y created a web-based "jobs pipeline" to help energy sector workers who recently lost their jobs directly connect with potential employers.

The service allows workers to complete a simple web-based form that adds their contact information and skills to a database employers can directly access through a secure login to find a match.

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