At the end of this month close to 1,000 miners will be laid off. Hundreds are already on furlough, but will be paid until the end of March. On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, we stopped by the The United Mine Workers of America office in Beckley to see what options miners have if they are laid off.
     The Director at the UMWA Career Center in Beckley, Brett Dillon, says “we are getting applications in, we get probably 15 to 20 a day.”
     Dillon helps laid off miners find new jobs. He was a coal miner himself for two decades. He says the scary reality is that the coal industry just isn’t what it used to be, “It’s tough, you know I’ve been there. I’ve walked in their shoes. I’ve been a laid off coal miner before, but that’s why I said theirs life after coal mining.”
     The UMWA Career Center is here to help miners and their families. The Center provides many different resources, “We can pay up to $5,000 dollars for their training and that includes tuition, books, license, testing fees, and in addition to the $5,000 dollars we can pay them $20 dollars a day for everyday that they attend class, up to five days a week.” For coal miners that are expecting to get laid off at the end of the month, you can go ahead and contact the career center to begin filling out paper work.  Work Force West Virginia will also have information fairs on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month for anyone who is looking for a job.