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This report explores two economic issues in Appalachia: future employment prospects for coal workers and changes in funding for K–12 education. The first part of the report identifies occupations that may be affected by losses in the coal industry ecosystem and offers state-by-state analyses comparing these impacted occupations to similar occupations in other industries. These analyses suggest other industries where former coal industry workers might find alternative employment opportunities. The second part of the report discusses how the changing coal economy may be impacting public funding for K–12 education at the state and local levels. It finds declines in both per pupil spending and K–12 enrollment in many of Appalachia’s counties that are dependent on the coal industry.


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