BECKLEY, W.Va. – WorkForce West Virginia is teaming up with the United Mine Workers of America to host two informational meetings this week to help displaced miners find new jobs.
Back in 2012, WorkForce received $1.8 million from the U.S. Department of Labor to help retrain displaced miners and their family members. Earlier this year, they got an additional grant worth $5.6 million. That is enough to help retrain 700.
Amber Jackson, with WorkForce, said the meetings will connect miners with those who can help them.
“There will be partners there, state agencies, to provide information on services available to dislocated coal miners as well as the United Mine Workers that will be on site to answer any question in regards to the National Emergency Grant,” according to Jackson.
The first meeting is set for Tuesday at the Raleigh County Convention Center at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The second is set for Wednesday at Chief Logan State Park at the same times.
Jackson said it’s important that miners and their families know they have options. The grant will pay out up to $5,000 to go back to school to get a diploma, certificate or license.
“We have had huge success with retraining dislocated coal miners and coal miners being able to attain employment in different career fields such as electrical engineering. We’ve had certified nurses assistants. We’ve had medical assistants. We’ve had phlebotomists. We’ve had all sorts of different training where they were able to complete the training and get a job in that field,” stressed Jackson.
Those who attend the meetings don’t need to bring a resume or any other documentation. Jackson said the purpose of the event is to let miner’s know what their options are, who to contact and the types of training they might be best suited for.
“It’s been a very successful program and there’s more money to help more people.”