As part of its assistance to transition economies in Southeastern Europe, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) requested research on countries in Central and Eastern Europe that had experience with restructuring their coal sectors. The Heldrich Center, through an agreement with Worldwide Strategies, Inc., conducted research on the employment impacts of coal sector restructuring in Russia, Poland, and Hungary. This required a comparison of active and passive labor market programs and economic adjustment strategies used to respond to the large-scale closures and mass layoffs affecting coal-mining regions. The Heldrich Center research provided insights into the principles of best practice for layoff assistance projects, including adequate advance notice, early intervention and rapid response, effective communication links to workers and communities, intensive on-site services tailored to worker needs, and local-level cooperation and linkages to community economic development. The project report, Labor Transition in the Coal Sector, was presented to the World Bank in May 2007.