Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher applauds U.S. Department of Labor's award of $3 million in coal workforce investment

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, December 21, 2005  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker

Coal workforce investment central to Governor Fletcher’s energy strategy

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Fletcher applauded the announcement by the federal Department of Labor (DOL) to award more than $3 million to Kentucky to invest in coal workforce training through the President’s High Growth Job Training Initiative.  The Kentucky award was among nearly $14 million of awards announced on Monday by DOL. 

“The Department of Labor, under the strong leadership of Secretary Elaine Chao, clearly recognizes that America needs a trained workforce in the mining industry,” stated Governor Fletcher. “Kentucky appreciates the investment being made in our miners.” 

The grant will address training needs in the coal mining sector through the use of simulators, distance learning, mobile classrooms and traditional classroom instruction. 

Governor Fletcher’s comprehensive energy strategy, Kentucky’s Energy – Opportunities for Our Future – specifically recommended that: 

“Commonwealth of Kentucky should partner with post-secondary institutions and industry to pursue federal resources to implement workforce development initiatives for the coal mining industry” (Recommendation 27) 

“The energy strategy was never intended to gather dust. It is an active strategy focused on Kentucky’s energy future,” stated Governor Fletcher. “This announcement by the Department of Labor is further evidence that the strategy is working and moving Kentucky forward.” 

The Governor also praised the collaboration between his administration and Kentucky’s congressional delegation. He said, “My administration appreciated the opportunity to work with Senator Bunning, Congressman Whitfield and Congressman Rogers to secure this funding. The collaborative effort between my administration and the federal delegation has and will continue to pay dividends for Kentucky.” 

Kentucky was well positioned to secure the funding due to the investment made at the state level during the 2005 General Assembly. In last years budget, the Kentucky General Assembly approved Governor Fletcher’s $3 million request to fund coal workforce initiatives through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. 

A copy of the Governor’s comprehensive energy strategy can be found at