Former coal miners graduate electrical lineman course

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) His story is like thousands of other in our region.

After 15 years, Mike Noe was laid off from his job at a coal mine.

“You feel empty. You sit and wonder what you’re going to do next,” Mike said.

But today, Mike has a new title. He’s now a certified electrical lineman.

“People don’t have years to sit around and wait on the coal industry. We have to support our families. We have to have income coming in,” Mike added.

Mike is one of 20 men who graduated from the first class of an eight week training program at Hazard Community and Technical College in partnership with the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) and the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) initiative.

“We saw this as an opportunity as to do something now and to offer a solution now,” EKCEP Executive Director Jeff Whitehead said.

A solution for thousands of men and women, just like Mike, with a little twist.

“One of the cool things here is, these guys are graduating here today, they’re also being interviewed. That doesn’t always happen,” Whitehead added.

Not only did these men graduate today, but they were also interviewed by Gaylor Electric.

“You don’t see an end to this, where you do see an end to coal, you don’t see an end to this,” Mike said.

And for these men, the future is looking bright.

For more information about this program, click the Kentucky Career Center link.

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