HAZARD, Ky. (AP) — The federal government has awarded $2.5 million in grants to three Kentucky community colleges that will work together to train a workforce for advanced manufacturing employers.

The Commerce Department said in a news release the project is expected to create 261 jobs.

The department's Economic Development Administration awarded the grant, which is going to Hazard Community and Technical College, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and Big Sandy Community and Technical College.

The department said the Economic Development Administration awards funds to help communities severely affected by declining coal use.