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Bill aims to provide retraining for displaced mine workers in West Virginia

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Bill aims to provide retraining for displaced mine workers in West Virginia

Newlegislation would allocate $100 million over the next five years to provideretraining programs for displaced mine workers amid the distressed coalindustry in West Virginia, the BluefieldDaily Telegraph reported April 8.

Thebill, named Assisting America's Dislocated Miners Act, was introduced by ThirdDistrict Congressional Rep. Evan Jenkins on April 7 at the United Mine Workersof America's Career Center in Beckley, said the report.

"Eachyear for the next five years, $20 million of this money would go to programslike the one at the career center," the publication quoted Jenkins assaying. Jobs in retraining programs include welding, construction, electricalor computer work.

Headded that a bipartisan bill introducedin February, called the RECLAIM Act, would help accelerate $1 billion inavailable funding in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.

Thatbill is intended to revitalize coal communities hardest hit by the distressedindustry. About $200 million of the budget will go to West Virginia and will bespecifically aimed at creating jobs, and not training.

Accordingto the report, Jenkins was also able to get $13 million in funding from thecurrent year's budget for infrastructure which will be utilized to provideopportunities on or near abandoned mine property.

Hefurther noted that the "fight to get coal back on its feet" is stillin the agenda. "What I would like to have is our hard-working coal minersto have a choice, have other options," he said.