Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
King Coal has ruled for decades as the Navajo Nation’s economic mainstay, but with the industry in frank decline, the Navajos are facing potentially devastating impacts on tribal well-being.
Thousands of Navajo workers and others in the Four Corners could lose their jobs in coming years as the region’s three coal-fired power plants scale back operations and consider shutting down all together. That presents a looming economic predicament for all of New Mexico’s northwestern communities, but particularly for the Navajo Nation, which relies on those plants and the three coal mines that supply them for about one-third of the tribal government’s annual revenue.
Collaborative efforts are emerging to diversify the economy and create more employment opportunities for displaced coal workers and next-generation job seekers. That includes a workforce training program funded by Public Service Company of New Mexico to help Navajo students train for jobs in other existing and emerging industries.