In Rural Colorado, One Town is Looking to Its Community College to Help Survive the End of Coal

Even in the dark of night, chalky smoke from the coal power plant looms over Craig.

For generations, coal has been a constant in this northwestern Colorado city. But by 2030, the Craig Station stacks will go quiet as Colorado shifts to renewable energy.

Coal has fueled not only Colorado’s power needs, but also Craig’s economy. The plant’s closure will idle 600 workers and cost a slew of support jobs.

Leaders of Craig, a city about 40 miles west of Steamboat Springs, see a tight window of opportunity to build a new economic base, provide residents replacement jobs, and ensure the city’s survival.

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