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Task 5 of the comprehensive report has two goals. The first is to examine occupations that might be affected by employment losses in the coal industry ecosystem (CIE). The primary focus is on direct production employment in the coal sector, but some references are also made to managerial support workers and indirect workers in the coal industry supply chain. Potentially-impacted occupations are identified, as are alternative occupational opportunities in other sectors of the economy where coal workers might be absorbed. We also discuss coal worker transition time from unemployment status to employment status and identify factors that both encourage and prevent timely transitions. This discussion is framed by an overview of broad labor market conditions throughout the Appalachian Region. The second goal is to assess the state and local elementary and secondary education funding implications of a declining CIE. Considered are state funding sources and mechanisms and local funding sources for education that rely on local tax capacity and effort to complement state resources in support of elementary and secondary education. Together these various components of the analysis enable an evaluation of future employment prospects for the current coal workforce along with the funding streams that will affect the quality of the workforce of the future through the support for K-12 education.


Prepared for the Appalachian Regional Commission under contract # PW-18673-16.