Invest in Appalachia: Billions of Dollars at Stake

By February 21, 2022March 9th, 2022No Comments

Invest in Appalachia: Billions of Dollars at Stake

by Natalia Rudiak

As part of ReImagine Appalachia’s ongoing efforts to support our communities’ investment in climate infrastructure, we are gathering timely grant and economic development opportunities for our region. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ensure equitable, climate-forward investment and we are excited to share this incredible potential with you.

Ideally, all jobs created through these funding opportunities will be family-sustaining, union jobs with good wages and benefits, and we encourage applicants to maintain labor standards throughout the process of project implementation. For information on how we can craft your proposal to maintain high labor standards, please reach out to us at

Bookmark this page as we will be posting opportunities on a regular basis!

Interagency Working Group on Coal & Power Plant Communities & Economic Revitalization Funding Clearinghouse

The federal Interagency Working Group on Coal & Power Plant Communities & Economic Revitalization (the IWG) announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind online clearinghouse that gives energy community leaders and advocates a user-friendly database to access funding opportunities across the federal government. As of today, the clearinghouse features more than $45B in open and planned funding opportunities, of which more than $2.8B has been awarded thus far. Of the 75 funding opportunities available, 20 do not require any matching funds – an important benefit for many energy communities to reduce barriers to accessing funds. Click here to access the one-stop resource or click the graphic below where users can easily sort and filter opportunities based on funding type, program purpose, and eligibility.

Justice40 Fund

Kapwa Consulting, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, is announcing the Climate Challenge Justice40 Capacity Building Fund (J40 Fund). The purpose of the J40 Fund is to support community-based organizations to engage and partner with their local government to advance community-led projects that align with the Justice40 Initiative.

The Application Materials are available at the J40 Fund website.

Grant Opportunities

USDA Offering Grants for Rural Residents to Get Connected to the Internet. 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Department has begun accepting applications for up to $1.15 billion in loans and grants to help people in rural areas get access to high-speed internet. This announcement comes on the heels of the recently enacted bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides another nearly $2 billion in additional funding for the ReConnect program. Applications for funding must be submitted through USDA Rural Development’s online application system on the ReConnect webpage here. For additional information, see the October 25 Federal Register notice here.

“Where to Start? A Webinar for Energy Communities Starting a Transformation.” 
Here’s a livestream replay of the virtual workshop with federal agencies and local practitioners to learn about available resources and best practices for addressing industrial change in a community. This webinar provides guidance on getting started, including a discussion with community leaders who have first-hand experience and can offer their perspectives on what works. This virtual event provides a step-by-step guide to engaging on the topic in a community, a checklist of necessary activities, discussion of common experiences, case studies, resources, and a task list for developing a plan that addresses financial, employment, and social disruptions. Download the presentation slides here.

The US Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for its ReConnect Program. This program provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. Funds may be used for the construction or improvement of (and in some cases, the acquisition of) facilities required to provide broadband service, as well as reasonable pre-application expenses. Applications are due February 22, 2022. More information about this opportunity may be found here

  • Via Coal Communities Commitment, The Economic Development Administration is dedicating $300 million to directly support coal communities. Your community may qualify for funding!  Economic Adjustment Assistance applications are accepted on a rolling basis, click here to learn more and apply. Please email inquiries about the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge to
    • The Economic Development Administration is also making grants more accessible for Tribal communities by including for-profit entities that are owned by and established for the benefit of a Tribe. Learn more here
  • The United States Department of Agriculture is accepting applications to support economic development in rural America.  This funding is available for rural towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofits, cooperatives, federally recognized Tribes, and public institutions of higher education. This program is designed to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Small means that the business has fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue. Make sure your community does not miss out on this opportunity by applying today (applications are due by February 28, 2022).

It’s time to #InvestInAppalachia