Press Statement

Media Advisory: Federal Jobs Program Could Bring New Hope and Opportunity to Discouraged Workers, Transform Appalachia’s Economy

By July 22, 2023No Comments


Contact: Virginia Alvino Young, 714-267-1623,


A new report examines structural unemployment in WV, PA, OH and KY

Appalachia — The Appalachian region has long suffered from not having enough good paying jobs. Even when the unemployment rate is low, too many Appalachians are disconnected from the workforce entirely due to a myriad of factors. The result has been a long-term structural unemployment problem that has persisted for decades. 

A new report by ReImagine Appalachia, Ohio River Valley Institute, and Keystone Research Center examines the potential impact of a federal job subsidy program, or its equivalent using federal climate infrastructure funds, that is targeted at breaking down barriers to employment in good-paying jobs – such as improving the skills and experience of potential workers to meet current employer demands in their local labor market – and connecting them with a job. 

This report considers  how Appalachia has been a “region apart” from the rest of America, including its history of resource extraction and exploitation, the collapse of the steel industry, and now coal, that has led to large employment losses in the area, and how the region’s uneven development has led to chronically low rates of employment, disenfranchisement from the labor market and even loss of hope underpinning the opioid epidemic from which the Appalachian region was particularly hard hit.

What: Targeted Employment – Re-Connecting Appalachia’s Disconnected Workforce: Report Launch

Who: Speakers include Ted Boettner: Senior Research at the Ohio River Valley Institute, Claire Kovach, Ph.D: Senior Research Analyst at Keystone Research Center, Algernon Austin: Director for Race and Economic Justice at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Moderated by Dana Kuhnline: Program Manager at ReImagine Appalachia. 

When: Tuesday, July 25th at 11am EST via Zoom/Facebook Live

Where: Register here. 


Reimagine Appalachia is a coalition of labor, policy experts and community leaders who are making sure that everyone who lives here can have a good job and can put down roots for the future. For months, the coalition has been pushing Congress to pass major funding packages that create jobs, rebuild infrastructure, and address fires and floods caused by damage to the climate.