POWER Grant Initiative

POWER your new career
with skills-based training, industry-recognized credentials, and job referral assistance from the
Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board


The coalfield region has experienced major job losses due to the downturn in the coal economy, but POWER Grant funds are available to assist dislocated coal industry workers, a broad section of the workforce that includes laid-off coal miners, prep plant workers, coal truck drivers,
power plant workers, and other dislocated workers in the coal supply chain.

The POWER Initiative supports efforts to create a more vibrant economic future for coal-impacted communities by cultivating economic diversity, enhancing job training and re-employment opportunities, creating jobs in existing or new industries, and attracting new sources of investment.

Free training is offered in the following areas, for those who qualify*:

Mountain Empire Community College (MECC)  MECC offers training in Welding, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC), 3-D Design, Information Readiness, Building Construction (Electrical Emphasis), Customer Care Representative, Construction, Electrician, and Power Lineman.

The Southwest Virginia Advanced Manufacturing’s Centers of Excellence  SVAM Centers of Excellence in Duffield, Bluefield, and Abingdon offer competence testing and training opportunities for credentials in Welding, Machining, and Industrial Maintenance (mechatronics) associated with the American Welding Society (AWS), the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), and Siemens (SMSCP).

Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC)  SWCC offers training in Welding, Precision Machining, Industrial Maintenance (Mechatronics), Fundamentals for a Skilled Workforce, Machining & CNC Training, Industrial Maintenance Technician, Basic Manufacturing Skills, and Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (ATOR) (

Tri-County Driving Academy  Tri-County Driving Academy offers training in Diesel Mechanic/Heavy Truck Maintenance and Commercial Driver/Class “A” CDL Training.

For more information, please contact:

Doug Meade, Regional POWER Grant Recruiter at 276-206-0508 or by e-mail at


Request for Information- Job Seeker


Applicants must meet eligibility requirements. Funded by the POWER-RESOURCE Full National Dislocated Worker Grant (NDWG) Project, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board. Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Virginia Relay 711. POWER stands for Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization. Candidates for these no-cost training opportunities must first meet eligibility requirements under WIOA’s Dislocated Worker (DW) program. Under the POWER Initiative, the terms coal industry and coal economy are used to refer to the complete supply chain of coal-reliant industries. This includes, but is not limited to coal mining, coal-fired power plants, and related transportation, logistics, and supply chain manufacturing. Priority of Service: Veterans and spouses of certain veterans receive priority of service for the receipt of employment, training, and placement services in any workforce preparation program directly funded, in whole or in part, by the Department of Labor. This region-wide effort brings together several agencies and groups that deal with both workforce and economic development. POWER grant options are coordinated through the SWVA Workforce Development Board-Area I and the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board-Area II, along with several partner agencies and organizations. For more information, contact Stephen Mullins, Regional POWER Grant Coordinator, at 276-608-0369 or