Kentucky is now leading the nation with a model high school program to attract young people to the mining industry.
The Lawrence County High School now has the Kentucky Junior Coal Academy, the first of its kind in the nation. It's designed to train and educate high school students using mining equipment simulators. Through the program, students can work towards a two or four year degree in mining engineering.
"This program is a chance for me to get a head start on just a good career in this industry," said Daniel Howard.
"It's interesting to get to know because it's one of the most important things in our area and it employees more people in our area," said Sarah Sutser.
29 students are currently enrolled in the first class.
Several other states interested in the program were represented Thursday to learn how to incorporate an academy in their area.