Washington D.C. – The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) and outgoing MGA-Chair Minnesota Governor Tim Walz are pleased to release recommendations that provide strategies and advice from industry experts and stakeholders to help prepare Midwestern Communities that are facing an energy transition, such as a power plant closure. Additionally, Western Governors University has announced a regional $500,000 scholarship to support job training and skills development for impacted Midwesterners.
“Towns and cities that have long hosted energy producers are learning from one another and looking at new ways to support communities and workers to ensure a smooth transition,” said Governor Walz.
The MGA led a year-long effort to craft recommendations to prepare Midwestern communities for energy transition in communities where the industry is moving toward clean energy. Midwestern Governors Association Initiative: Growing the Communities that have Powered the Midwest is both a summary of these activities and a set of recommendations at the federal, state, and local level that were developed based on participant conversations.
“This report, along with the generous Western Governors University Scholarship, will help communities better manage these challenges,” added Walz. I look forward to joining my fellow Midwestern governors in reviewing the recommendations in the report.”
“New economic and environmental realities have brought about many changes in energy generation, which have closed power plants, displaced workers, and severely impacted numerous communities throughout the Midwest,” said Alison Bell, WGU Regional Vice President. WGU was created by governors to support adult and underserved learners across the country, and this new scholarship fund—in collaboration with Governor Walz’s MGA Agenda—will provide a flexible and cost-effective way for displaced workers to get the skills and training they need for the next phase of their careers.”
“This chair’s agenda topic has been excellent and has brought together a phenomenal cross-section of Midwesterners from economic development groups, local leaders, educational institutions, power companies, NGOs and others to discuss and share information and advice,” said Jesse Heier, executive director. “We know that communities across the Midwest are working hard to create new jobs and opportunities for those affected by the national energy production transition. Luckily the Midwest is blessed with smart, hard-working, and innovative thinkers and workers who are facing this challenge head-on and with their typical “can-do” approach to problems.”
For more information about this initiative, please visit www.midwesterngovernors.org/Power-Plant-Closures.