WASHINGTON, DC (October 6, 2015) – Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) today introduced legislation designed to create a worker adjustment assistance program to provide job training and other benefits for workers who have been affected by the closures of coal mines and coal-fired power plants, as well as to other affected coal-dependent businesses and communities. Following the introduction of the Healthy Employee Loss Prevention (HELP) Act, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Kim Glas:
“We applaud Reps. Welch and McKinley for introducing this important legislation as it is a necessary step forward to support and protect workers and communities that are impacted by America’s energy transition. This bill, along with other important initiatives like the administration’s POWER+ Initiative, are critical to making that happen.
“However, we can do more. We must ensure that skills development and re-employment programs actually lead to quality employment, matching or exceeding the well-paid jobs that have been lost. Support for pension and benefits of displaced workers is key to ensuring a decent standard of living, and efforts to support investment and economic development and diversification in these communities—where new jobs can be created—should not be overlooked.
“We look forward to working with Reps. Welch and McKinley to move this and other efforts forward to ensure that workers or communities are not left behind.”