Transition Planning Services
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE APPROACH
The Just Transition Fund is dedicated to supporting locally developed solutions to begin and accelerate community transition planning. Our Technical Assistance team helps advance local transitions through two strategies:
- Providing targeted, on-the-ground technical assistance in the Fund’s priority states
- Developing resources to share best practices and emerging models that can inform transition planning
Targeted Technical Assistance
We provide on-the-ground technical assistance in our priority states [link to priority locations] to community-based organizations and local governments in the form of direct transition planning and strategy support. Our goal is to work with partners to accelerate transitions by creating plans with well-defined outcomes, and to support community and government leaders who are committed to taking action. Our Technical Assistance team collaborates with local partners to:
- Start a coordinated transition planning process
- Connect with other communities facing similar challenges
- Identify public and private funding sources
- Provide grant writing assistance
- Conduct outreach to affected stakeholders and facilitating meetings
- Share information and resources, including connections to peers and resource experts
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PARTNERS
While our partners vary based on location and need, typical partners include nonprofits firmly rooted in place, governmental leaders, local foundations, workforce and community development agencies, and a wide range of other motivated and innovative groups. Below are three examples of our work:
Partners: Community-based organization, labor, local municipalities
In the town of Tonawanda, New York, the Clean Air Coalition, the Western New York Area Labor Federation, and the Kenmore Teachers Association anticipated the closure of the Huntley Generating Station and launched a campaign to transition the facility. This work culminated in a state transition fund, the nation’s first fossil fuel transition fund, and a bill that established a fund to supplement the tax base losses in decreasing amounts over seven years, to ease the town’s transition away from Huntley revenues and allow the local economy to regain its footing without massive cuts to public services.
To steer the economic transition long-term, Clean Air and coalition partners produced Tonawanda Tomorrow, a community-based economic transition plan. The Just Transition Fund was a member of the advisory committee and we provided expertise on transitioning economic structures and provided examples from communities across the country. The final section of the Tonawanda Tomorrow plan focuses on implementation, with concrete action steps to fuse the gap in revenue loss long-term, increase waterfront access, grow renewable energy, and build wealth for poor and working class people.
Partners: Municipal leaders, local foundation, tribal leaders
At the request of Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s office, the Fund supported the Colstrip planning effort by providing technical assistance and facilitating meetings of the 15-member Colstrip Community Impact Advisory Group (CCIAG) in 2018. By serving as an informed, trusted, and neutral intermediary, we brought a national perspective to the conversation, highlighting best practices and case studies of success from our work around the country. We also helped diffuse tension among opposing opinions (labor, environmental, and tribal) by finding middle ground during sticking points in the process.
This role helped move the conversation forward with credibility while ensuring continued involvement from individuals and groups who were in opposition to one another, as well as tribal interests whose voice was initially missing. The result was a unanimously approved plan, issued in December 2018, that detailed the use of the settlement funds. This plan and process are an important example of the benefits and liabilities for states that negotiate financial settlements during coal plant and mine closures.
Partners: City managers, local nonprofit, utility company
The Fund is working with seven communities, which are part of a coalition of utility cities, to help craft a comprehensive statewide strategy to address coal plant closures. As a first step, the coalition conducted an analysis of both the economic and social impacts of closures based on the various transition scenarios.
Quickly emerging as an innovative national model, the project offers an impact assessment template for both affected communities and other states. At the state level, the project helped Minnesota lawmakers and local leaders craft policy solutions that effectively target and address the social and economic problems caused by plant closures. In May, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill that included transition language and an initial assistance fund. At the local level, the effort shows communities how to assess the impacts of anticipated closures. Finally, the entire process—from start to finish—can be adopted by any state that desires to address coal transition comprehensively.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROCESS
If your community, region, or state is interested in receiving technical assistance and transition support, please fill out the following form to tell us more about your community.
Our goal is to work with partners so they can take action to accelerate their transition planning efforts on the ground. Here is how we do it:
Connect: After you’ve filled out the form, someone from our team will reach out to you. We will have an introductory conversation to discuss your community context and goals, the stage of transition your community is in, and the impacts of the declining coal industry.
Align: After our initial conversation, we will discuss next steps, which could include our sending additional information and resources, providing connections to peer communities, or identifying a set of tasks to accomplish together.
Act: Once we’ve aligned on a strategy to move forward, we will collaborate on action items to address your community’s needs.