MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As the number of Appalachian coal jobs plummets, former miners are looking to federal programs to help them launch new careers.
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These ex-miners are taking free classes and learning skills to become HVAC repairmen, mechanics and licensed truck drivers.
The programs are well intentioned but can help only a fraction of the thousands of workers who have been laid off in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. And one of the common complaints among the ex-miners is that the new jobs don't pay as well as coal mining.