Big money and big news from Logan County, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
The school is now well on its way to some major fundraising and some of that money will go to a new state-of-the-art facility to train miners.
Buck Harless said, “This effort going on now, will train miners before they go underground. They’ll know what to expect and the machines they'll be working with and the environment they work in. Then when they move underground it won't be so new to them.”
Buck Harless explains, “It’s the best pay in the industry in West Virginia right now. Unfortunately, for years all the experienced people have left or went out of mining and now we have to depend on these youngsters who are eager to get in but they're in inexperienced.”
The new Academy for Mine Training is not going to be located at Southern's main campus. It’s going to be located on Corridor G somewhere between Boone and Logan Counties. They're not exactly sure where yet but they say it is expected to open in two months.
Allyn Sue Barker, Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College explains what and how they will learn, “Basically it will be more hands on. We will use simulators to help people understand safety and operation without being on the equipment. Coal is a big business in southern West Virginia and also in the state and skilled employees are needed in the industry more so than ever before and they have to be better educated.”
The school received a $3 million federal grant to get this program off the ground. They hope to raise $20 million by the year 2020.
Southern is the first community college in the state to get this technology.