Grant for Retraining Displaced Montana Coal Plant Workers Untapped
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana labor officials say a $2 million federal grant for retraining workers expected to be displaced with the closure of two units of a coal-fired power plant remains untapped because plant owners haven't given the workers layoff notices.
Officials with Talen Montana, which operates the plant in Colstrip, tell The Billings Gazette they hope to avoid a significant layoff and will still need workers to decommission the two units of the Colstrip Power Plant that are closing in December. They also need crews to continue to run two units that will continue operating.
Talen officials have said the impending closure has caused increased worker turnover. Union workers recently approved a three-year contract that includes incentives for staying and offers guaranteed severance packages.
The Department of Labor has through December 2020 to use the federal retraining money.