The Kentucky Coal Academy and Workforce Solutions of Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College are offering a free training course for miners.
Murrel Dixon, who is director of the coal academy at Southeast, told the Harlan Daily Enterprise the course is an "excellent opportunity" for coal miners to improve their skills.
The eight-week program, which begins on Monday, offers certification in underground and surface mining. Classes are being held at the Kentucky Coal Academy in Cumberland, the Knox County area Technology Center in Barbourville and at community college campuses in Whitesburg, Middlesboro and Harlan.
"It provides state-of-the-art training at no cost to the participant," Dixon said. "It should be of particular interest now because of current mine lay-offs. This is a good time for coal miners to come out, undergo quality technical training that will not only make them efficient in the mining industry, but in other areas."
He says there's an ongoing need for training in areas such as hydraulics, electricity and first aid, and those are part of the course.
"It's a good way to get beneficial cross training for any technical field," he said.
Kentucky Coal Academy spokeswoman Jennifer McDaniels said the training program offers a variety of courses at convenient times and locations.
"Training is skills specific and job preparatory. The Bi-Term Mine Training Program is perfect for those individuals who are looking to develop better job skills, which can possibly lead to a better job," McDaniels said. "Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College has developed the mining jobs program as the answer for a more secure future for our coal miners."
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System offers the classes to miners through the state-funded Kentucky Coal Academy and Workforce Solutions. The latter provides education, programs and services to meet the needs of industries as well as offering programs for individuals who want to improve their job skills.
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