The MGA, led by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, started an initiative in early 2021 to prepare Midwestern communities for power plant closures. This issue is a focal point of Governor Walz’s MGA Chair’s agenda – “Empowering Midwestern Communities” – which will focus on bringing Midwestern policy leaders together to create economic opportunities in the energy sector.
As we undergo a national energy transition, the Midwest has experienced and will continue to experience numerous power plant closures. These power plants are often the largest employers and taxpayers in their cities, and the planned closures could have a significant impact on the community and its workforce. Through the MGA, we plan to harness the collective wisdom, ideas, and lessons learned from state and local government, industry, workers, the advocacy community, and economic development interests to develop solutions to assist these communities and support workers through the transition.
Participants have been charged with scoping out the problem of closures, developing solutions to the problems, and developing plans to support these effected communities and their workforce. Since these generation facilities are often the communities’ largest employer, the loss to the community is large in terms of jobs, but also ancillary businesses. This initiative has investigated how to redevelop these facilities and create employment opportunities for workers in the community. By bringing together utilities, community leaders, workers, and energy advocates, we can better understand the impact these closures will have on communities and workers and how we can plan for a just, beneficial transition and a successful future.
Now in year two, the MGA will host public, all-hands style meetings to have bigger picture discussions quarterly. The MGA has also partnered with the Just Transition Fund to provide technical guidance and facilitation assistance as experts in this field.
As a key sponsor and supporter of the agenda, WGU is also proud to provide a scholarship opportunity to help support Midwesterners whose employment has been impacted by the energy transition.
For More information, please visit wgu.edu/empower.
Thank you for participating at the MGA’s Preparing Midwestern Communities for Power Plant Closures effort this year. Below are the final recommendations developed throughout the 2021 initiative.
Quarterly Update Meetings
Quarterly Full Group Meetings
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Part of this effort is to create a collections of resources to help those working with the energy transition.
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Resources for Subgroups
This section will be a repository for resources that will provide you with additional information on transition issues. This is a living section and will be updated as more resources are added.