Clifton Forge, a town of 3,555 people in Alleghany County, Virginia, is receiving a $3 million investment from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to boost workforce development in this coal community.

The funds will go to renovate the building that used to be the Courtesy Ford dealership into a workforce development center in Clifton Forge and serve a community impacted by the decline of coal. The workforce development center will establish a manufacturing training center and an entrepreneurial innovation laboratory.

The grant is expected to create or retain 110 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment, and is being matched with $750,000 in local funding.

The funding comes through the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative. As part of its $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation, EDA made a Coal Communities Commitment (CCC), allocating $300 million of these funds to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic, develop resilient economies, and create well-paying, quality jobs.

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