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Coal Transition Worker

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The Office of Justice Transition is working with state and local partners, impacted communities and workers and their families to develop a program to support coal transition workers in affected communities throughout the state. That includes helping workers and their families prepare for closures and explore their future options as well as whatever assistance may be appropriate when the closures happen later this decade. 

The goals of the Office are to: empower workers and their families to plan early for future success, prepare a detailed program to help displaced workers build skills, find good jobs, or start businesses, explore strategies to protect family economic security through the transition, and encourage the federal government to lead with a national strategy for energy transition workers.

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Colorado’s Pre-Closure Program for Just Transition Workers and Families

In 2024 the Office of Just Transition (OJT) will begin rolling out seven strategies to help workers and families find new opportunities to prosper.  Most programs are still under development.  Updates will be posted as resources become available.

OJT hired the first Navigator in Craig in January, and we expect to hire more as demand grows in communities throughout Colorado. All navigators will be community-based and work directly with workers and families to develop their transition plans and connect them to resources and services.

Transition Navigators:
Jennifer Pieroni, Yampa Valley, jennifer.pieroni@state.co.us

Services will be at reduced or no cost, providers will be professionally certified, and worker and family participation will be voluntary.

OJT will build on benefits from existing employers to help workers and family members develop new or improved skills and competencies to support new careers and sustain family incomes.

Coal workers have a wide range of skills that are transferable to other good jobs. OJT will help identify these skills and help fill any gaps to make them more marketable to future employers.

When surveyed, many coal workers told us they want to start or expand their own businesses in the communities where they live. OJT will provide technical assistance and funding (such as buying down interest rates or paying closing costs on loans) to help make this happen.

Major work and life transitions can be very stressful. Peer coaches have been effective in other transitions and will be part of our approach. When asked, OJT will connect workers and families to these coaches and to other services that support workers’ wellbeing and resilience.

Local transition Hubs provide a comfortable place for workers and families to find services such as re-employment, training, and social support and to leverage local, state and federal resources.

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Helpful Contacts

Jennifer Pieroni, Yampa Valley Transition Navigator: Jennifer.Pieroni@state.co.us

Find contact information for individuals and organizations that OJT has relationships with, specifically around the unique needs and concerns of coal workers. All services and contacts are confidential; your information and conversations will not be shared unless you have given permission to do so for further assistance and resources.

News and Information

Coal Transition Worker Survey

This survey was designed to understand the needs and future plans of individuals and families directly impacted by the changing energy sector in Northwest Colorado. Results of this survey will drive important decisions around transition supports. 

Over 250 coal industry workers have taken the survey. If you want to know what they’re thinking, this preliminary survey data presentation will give you some early insights.

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Keep Up with the Office of Just Transition

Please share your email address through the following form so that we may send you updates.

For information, contact Shelley at shelley.siman@state.co.us, OJT’s Transition Workforce Program Manager