Maybe the current plan is to make the areas so depressing that people stop having kids or the young adults all move away so the towns disappear.
I wouldn't call it a "plan" but it is the most likely long term result. I have sympathy for the older sections of the current working age population, as in the article there's not much more incentive for an unemployed, unqualified, 50-something ex-miner with no savings to migrate elsewhere to futilely look for work, but for the younger generations, this is surely what will happen.
But this is hardly new, and neither is the American experience unique. Go and look at the picturesque industrial archaeology in Swaledale - once a hive of industry, now a rural backwater. Look at "ghost towns" the world over, deserted when the oil/gold/coal ran out.
These towns are done. Finished. Kaput. Over.
The only thing keeping them going, frankly, is benefit dependency. The only reason anyone other than an older, unemployed ex-miner waiting for death would stay rather than looking to migrate to somewhere with more prospects is the idea that you can sustain a life, in the long term, on "hand-outs" from the state.