BECKLEY, W.Va. — Bluestone Resources announced on Thursday it is hiring 290 additional workers for the company’s coal mines in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
Most of the new positions will be at the Keystone Surface Mine in McDowell County and at the Bishop Surface Mine in Tazewell County, which is reopening. Bluestone also will be hiring miners at its Wise, Virginia, and Pike County, Kentucky, sites. Jay Justice, who operates the mines for Justice Companies, said in a press release that a variety of jobs are being offered, and that a new training program for a small number of inexperienced workers is being initiated. Bluestone also has redesigned a bonus program for employees.
Following the announcement, Justice’s father, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, held a press conference Thursday morning. He said the new jobs will bring a large measure of economic relief to the region, following the recent closure of the Pinnacle mine in Wyoming County.
“What has happened is that (the Pinnacle Mine) has probably run it’s course,” said Justice, explaining that, in his opinion, it likely was no longer cost-effective to continue mining operations at the site, after several decades of coal extraction. “What happens, naturally, is the easy stuff goes first, and then the tougher stuff, the further you go, the tougher it gets. The further you go, the more ventilation, the more electricity, more everything that it takes.”
Displaced miners in the region were encouraged by the company to get more information by visiting Bluestone Resources, Inc. on Facebook, and to email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to call 304-956-0765.