Congressman tells what's being done to get coal miners back to work

The feds are looking into helping put people in the mining industry back to work and clean up abandoned coal mining sites.

There's a proposal to spend $100 million over the next five years to retrain out-of-work coal miners for new jobs.

Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia's 9th District supports it, and also actively getting out word about their value and availability.

"Most of our coal miners already have a lot of practical experience," he said. "We just need to make sure companies out there know we have a lot of folks who know how to do a lot of things, whether it is with equipment, computer-driven, or otherwise living in Southwest Virginia and they should come here and open up facilities."

Another pending bill, one Rep. Griffith originally cosponsored, would spend $1 billion to clean up abandoned mine sites in a way that produces positive economic impact.

"It's another one of many tools we are looking for in Washington to try and bring economic development to the Central Appalachia region, which has been so negatively impacted by the situation in the coal industry," he explained.

Rep. Griffith spent Friday meeting with economic development leaders in the region.

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