Coal Industry Hiring Heating Up Across West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia employs 3,000 more coal miners today than it did a decade ago, adding 1,000 workers in the last year.

In all, the industry employs 18,240 miners at both surface and underground operations. That's according to the latest data from the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.

Earlier this year, Richmond, Virginia-based Massey Energy announced a major expansion aimed at boosting production 25 percent by 2010. Last week, it hosted a job fair in Boone County for Independence Coal and Inman Coal.

But Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said Tuesday that most companies in the state are looking for good workers at all levels.

So the work force may keep growing, even as demand and prices for coal remain sky-high.


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  • by Glen Location: Stanton on Sep 10, 2008 at 12:27 PM
    These coal miners and future miners should realize how in demand they are and overcome their fear to organize and be represented by the United Mine Workers of America. Fear of being fired by their employer for wanting union representation is the proven biggest factor in the decline in miners being organized. Coal miners you are in the drivers' seat, use that leverage and ORGANIZE.
  • by James Location: Salyersville, KY on Sep 10, 2008 at 06:55 AM
    With so much coal to work with, wonder why more interest isn't generated into the idea of liquifying coal to cut down on so much oil being imported. Could it be that China is paying more than people think this country is worth? Remember Japan and the big sale of scrap metal this country made to it prior World War II? What did Japan do with it, molded it into weapons to declare war on us with, that's what! Are we so naive to think China won't do the same thing with natural resources it drains form our soil? Sure we may make a buck now, but at what cost to our children? Do we leave them vulnerable then so we can drive pretty cars now?

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