Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana Selected to Study Coal Economy on Region

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The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana has been selected to launch a study on the impact of the Coal industry and its effects on its workforce. If analysis warrants, the area could make application to secure federal training dollars for affected workers.

www.southwestindiana.org

Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana

At a time when Southwest Indiana is so focused on attracting new talent to the region, it only makes sense to research a sector of our current workforce to overcome challenges.

The Grow Southwest Indiana Workforce Board has secured the services of the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana to help provide research and analysis of the State of Indiana’s Economic Growth Regions 7, 8 and 11 to determine impacts of the coal economy on workforce. The Coalition will partner with Strategic Development Group (SDG), PQR Energy, LLC and Lee S. Rigsby Consulting which will help compile the data analysis and personal interviews within the area's coal industry. The Coalition will analyze and evaluate the impact of trends of reduced coal usage on regional employment.

“The goal of this project is the need to gauge the impact on coal and coal-fired power plants and the impact to the surrounding economies’ workforce,” states Jim Heck, Executive Director for WorkOne Southwest.

Within the study, business clusters will be identified and analyzed. The business cluster analysis will attempt to identify growth areas within the region’s business clusters that could potentially offer employment opportunities to residents who have been dislocated due to a lowered demand for Indiana coal.

“At a time when Southwest Indiana is so focused on attracting new talent to the region, it only makes sense to research a sector of our current workforce to overcome challenges," said Carol Hagedorn, Vice President of Community Development for The Coalition.

Hagedorn further stated that in the past five years, Region 11 (nine counties in the most Southwestern part of Indiana) have lost 1,500 jobs thus far in the coal sector. If the resulting analysis does indicate that this region is experiencing job losses due to downward trends in the coal industry, The Coalition will further prepare a grant application on behalf of the State of Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development to the U. S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration to secure National Dislocated Worker funding for the purpose of financing training for workers negatively impacted by downward trends in the regional coal economies. The study is currently underway.

About the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana
The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana acts as the marketing arm and regional economic development organization for Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick Counties in Southwest Indiana. The Coalition works with its local county economic development organizational partners to facilitate attraction activities and supports efforts to enhance the business climate through regional capacity building.    Since its formation in late 2006, the Coalition has helped to secure over $3.2 billion in new investment and 3,933 new jobs from existing and new companies such as Haier America, Berry Plastics, Mead Johnson, Toyota Boshoku, Midwest Fertilizer Corporation and AT&T.

Another important aspect of the Coalition’s multi-faceted job description is helping the communities it serves build new capacity for future development. The Coalition has helped secure over $115 million in grants for such things as expansion of water and sewer systems; building new community centers; and, making improvements to the region’s levee system, which protects thousands of acres.

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