There could be light at the end of the tunnel for coal miners who have been laid off in southern West Virginia. PRIDE community Services, Inc., based in Logan, West Virginia, has a new program called BuildJobs Initiative that assists laid-off coal miners by helping them get back to work in a new trade.
Director Sheila Riddle said the program was funded through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to assist laid-off coal miners in the Boone, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming county areas.
The BuildJobs Initiative is a 16-week program that puts miners on the path to success with on-the-job training. Week one of the program is an application/orientation week that helps participants decide which career path would suit them. The program offers on-the-job training in plumbing, electrical, residential contracting, HVAC, welding and several other trades throughout the next 14 weeks of the program.
During these fourteen weeks, Riddle said, “We provide them with a $20-a-day stipend to help with any cost associated with the training, such as gas to get to and from the job…”