Coal Miner Tackles Uncertain Future

PAINTSVILLE, Ky, (WSAZ) -- David Goode learned the hard way the economy was spiraling downward.

He was building vacation homes on the coast in Georgia -- a luxury people could no longer afford.

Goode moved to Kentucky. Generations of his family were coal miners. He decided to get in on the trade.

"I was like, OK, I can do this, they make good money and oh, it's gonna last another 15 years, 20 years," Good explained.

"Coming from a failed housing market, I really wasn't aware about what was going on in in the area," he said when asked about the downturn in the coal industry.

The job didn't last two years.

Now, at age 48, Goode is starting his third career.

He is using the Hiring Our Miners Everyday program, or HOME, to go back to school to be an electrician.

He was laid off, so he qualifies for the program.

The 525 miners who were laid off this past week from James River Coal Company, where Goode also worked, were furloughed -- meaning they do not qualify for the HOME Program at this time.

However, they can and are encouraged to go register with Kentucky's workforce development program to get help navigate the world of unemployment.

"The unemployment office is the unemployment office -- then you get a check from them, but there are things you can do to better yourself to make yourself marketable so you can put yourself back in the workforce "

Goode realizes he has to do whatever it takes to separate himself from the worker who will be half his age, competing for the same job he would like to have.

"You have to give all you have. You are only going to get something out of what you put in. If you don't put anything into it, you aren't going to get anything out of it."

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