CCTI provides training funds for displaced workers in Bell Co.

Published 11:27 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

Since 2015, The Center for Rural Development has provided training funds to help more than 150 displaced coal miners in 13 Kentucky counties successfully re-enter the workforce and find gainful employment.

The Center’s Coal Communities Training Initiative (CCTI) is expanding to allow displaced workers who have been directly or indirectly impacted by the decline of the coal industry within the grant service area to apply for workforce training assistance.

The CCTI grant service area includes Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, McCreary, Owsley, Perry, Pulaski, Rockcastle and Whitley counties. These counties have been identified as suffering “severe” hardships due to the decline of coal production.

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“Through the CCTI, we want to help individuals receive the training and skills they need to get back into the workforce or to obtain more stable employment,” said Patti Simpson, business manager of The Center’s Business & Community Training Center. “Grant funding is available to help qualified applicants receive assistance with tuition or training expenses.”

The CCTI provides workforce training and educational opportunities for displaced workers who have lost jobs or experienced layoffs in coal-impacted counties as a direct result of the downturn in coal production or in other supporting industries.

Some of the workforce training opportunities available to qualified applicants include commercial driver’s license, certified fiber optic courses, lineman training, allied health professions, medical coding, certification courses, and other in-demand careers.

“The Center for Rural Development is continuously searching for new ways to stimulate economic growth and enhance the skills of our region’s workforce to meet changing needs,” Simpson said. “CCTI provides an all-inclusive training package, not only for displaced coal miners, but to employees who have lost jobs in other supporting industries due to the decline of coal.”

The CCTI, formerly the Displaced Coal Miner Training initiative, is funded through a private grant and administrated through The Center, a nonprofit organization based in Somerset, Ky.

To see if you qualify for workforce assistance or for more information about CCTI, call Patti Simpson, business manager of The Center’s Business & Community Training Center, at 606-677-6000 or email

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its 45-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.