$7.6 million in funds to help retrain laid off coal miners - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

$7.6 million in funds to help retrain laid off coal miners

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NEWS RELEASE:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (October 6, 2015)- Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today announced West Virginia will receive an additional $7.6 million in federal grant funds to pay for job training and career services for dislocated mine workers and their families.

PATRIOT COAL EXPECTS TO LAY OFF 1,900 COAL MINERS THIS FALL

The funding comes from an extension to a National Dislocated Worker Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that helps coal miners - and their families - who have been affected by layoffs and mine closures to train for and find new career paths and opportunities.

"We have worked hard over the years to build and strengthen our state's diverse portfolio of workforce training programs," Gov. Tomblin said. "Mine closures and layoffs have left many of our state's hardworking miners unemployed and in need of help. I will continue to fight for our miners and the coal industry, but this additional funding will strengthen our efforts to provide them with retraining and re-employment opportunities should they need them."

In 2012, WorkForce West Virginia received an initial $1.8 million, followed by a second installment of $5.6 million in 2014 to provide support for workers affected by layoffs and mine closures. Together, this funding retrained nearly 1,000 workers.

When the initial disbursement of grant funds was exhausted, West Virginia sought a second grant to continue these retraining efforts.

This additional grant funding will provide tuition assistance, up to $5,000 per participant, for classroom or online skills training and will support 25 on-the-job training positions. It will also offer up to $100 per week to help with the cost of meals, travel and child care. Miners' spouses and children living at home are also eligible for the program.

In addition, WorkForce West Virginia recently launched a redesigned website that is a one-stop-shop for all of West Virginia's workforce development programs and services. Both employers and unemployed workers can learn more about this new grant program and additional offerings at www.workforcewv.org.

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