In January 2013, Jeff Whitehead of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) contacted Senator McConnell's office requesting support and a status update for the “National Emergency Grant (NEG)”. The organization submitted the grant application to the Department of Labor (DOL) in November 2012. EKCEP submitted the grant proposal in an effort to retrain out-of-work coal miners in Eastern Kentucky—thousands of whom have lost their jobs under the Obama Administration—for future employment.
Steps taken by Senator McConnell:
Senator McConnell wrote DOL several times to support the grant.
The DOL would approve approximately $7.6 million for the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) to assist laid off coal miners. The funding helps support EKCEP’s Helping Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) initiative. Over 2,000 Kentuckians are taking advantage of this program and 900 previously laid-off miners have gained new employment. The continued assistance will enable additional support in the future to more Kentucky miners.
EKCEP Executive Director Jeff Whitehead said, “We are extremely grateful for the support of Senator McConnell toward the additional NEG funding we have been awarded. This funding will allow us to continue to meet the workforce needs of our region’s unemployed miners in a time of unprecedented need, and we applaud the senator for his recognition of this plight and our ongoing efforts to address it.”