REP. JENKINS INTRODUCES BILL TO HELP DISLOCATED COAL MINERS
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) announced today that he is introducing legislation to provide retraining opportunities for dislocated coal miners. Rep. Jenkins visited the United Mine Workers of America’s Career Center in Beckley today to discuss the bill, the Assisting America’s Dislocated Miners Act.
The Assisting America’s Dislocated Miners Act would establish a Dislocated Miners Assistance Program at the U.S. Labor Department to identify dislocated miners, assess their skills and training, identify job training programs, and provide grants to job training providers. The bill would also authorize $20 million a year for five years to fund the Dislocated Miners Assistance Program.
“Due to overregulation and market conditions, coal jobs in West Virginia and Appalachia have been decimated. While we fight to restore our coal jobs, we must also provide for the miners who are out of work and for their families. My bill, the Assisting America’s Dislocated Miners Act, will help us provide retraining opportunities for even more unemployed miners and get them back to work in good-paying and stable jobs,” Rep. Jenkins said. “By providing coal miners the opportunity to retrain and learn new trades, we can revitalize our coal communities. My legislation will give West Virginia’s families hope and the promise of a paycheck, not an unemployment check.”
UMWA Career Centers Executive Director Clemmy Allen said the bill will provide much-needed support for West Virginia’s dislocated miners.
“West Virginia coal helped build this great country, but now our coal miners are struggling. At the United Mine Workers of America Career Centers, we are dedicated to helping displaced coal miners learn new skills and find new jobs to support their families. The Assisting America’s Dislocated Coal Miners Act will provide us with steady funding and the certainty needed to offer training to any miner in need. I thank Rep. Jenkins for his leadership on this issue and know that by working together, we can help provide a better future for displaced coal miners and their families,” Allen said.
For more information about the bill, please click here.
This legislation will build on recent grants focusing on retraining opportunities for unemployed coal miners. In October, Rep. Jenkins joined officials in Charleston to announce a grant of more than $7 million from the U.S. Labor Department to the United Mine Workers of America’s Career Centers to retrain workers at its Beckley center. Rep. Jenkins voted to secure $19 million for fiscal year 2016 at the Labor Department to fund grants to provide job training and services for workers dislocated from coal jobs.