HARRISBURG – Local workers affected by coal mine closures will soon be able to benefit from new job training opportunities thanks to a state grant announced this week, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).
“When this state-of-the-art training facility is completed, it will open up a wealth of new job opportunities to support local families and help revitalize our communities,” said Bartolotta, who strongly advocated for the project. “The coal industry continues to be one of our region’s top employers. As technology advances, it is critical to ensure all local workers have access to jobs with family-sustaining wages and this grant goes a long way towards achieving that goal by ensuring our workforce has the skills needed in emerging careers.”
“This is a watershed moment for dislocated miners and their families,” said Clemmy Allen, Executive Director of the United Mine Workers of America Career Centers, Inc, responsible for building the new vocational training center. “We contacted our State Senator Camera Bartolotta and asked if she would make a proposal on behalf of the UMWA Career Center’s Inc. for a RACP State grant. Not only did she submit our request, but she actively worked to make this happen.”
“With this Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant from the Commonwealth, we will begin the process of constructing a first-class adult Vocational Training Center in Greene County,” Allen said. “We want to thank the elected officials who supported our efforts, including our Southwestern Pennsylvania representatives, Governor Wolf, the Greene County Commissioners, and of course, Senator Bartolotta.”
The $3 million grant awarded through the state’s RACP program will help repurpose the Mining Technology and Training Center in Ruff Creek to offer job training programs in high-demand professions, such as cyber security, medical coding, diesel repair and commercial driver licensing and training programs.
The renovated facility is expected to include new features such as a computer lab, exhaust and fire suppression systems and a driving area for a CDL program. The grant will also aid in the dismantling of the existing simulated coal mine.
“In order for our economy to flourish, we need to embrace pro-growth strategies for job creation and this vocational training facility does just that by equipping workers with the skills needed in emerging markets,” said Bartolotta.
CONTACT: Katrina Anderson (717) 787-1463