As nations transition away from coal, regions and communities must adapt. By analyzing communities that have already experienced an energy transition, policymakers can better support other communities that face similar future challenges. The purpose of this study is to assess factors that contribute to more successful community adaption after coal transition. A key goal is to address open questions about why some communities perform better than others and to inform best practices to promote a more “just transition” as market realities and policies to mitigate climate-change spur adaptation. The base for this research draws from Appalachia, a region significantly affected by coal sector decline.