West Virginia to get $5.6M for laid-off miners

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2014 at 6:10 pm •  Published: April 24, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia will receive an additional $5.6 million in federal grants to help coal workers affected by mine closures and layoffs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Thursday that WorkForce West Virginia will receive National Emergency grants through 2016 for displaced miners. The state received $1.8 million in 2012.

Tomblin said the Department of Labor assistance will provide re-employment services and job training for 700 mine workers.

"Layoffs and mine closures are frustrating for our miners and their families - they depend on their jobs to keep food on the table and a roof overhead," Tomblin said in a news release.

West Virginia is the nation's No. 2 coal producer and leads the country in coal jobs. In recent years, however, the coal industry has endured thousands of layoffs nationally.

This week, St. Louis-based Patriot Coal announced potential layoffs of at least 100 employees combined at two West Virginia locations. Patriot employs 450 workers at its Wells complex and 397 workers at its Corridor G complex near Danville.