The programs Obama established to retrain coal miners are going begging in Pennsylvania, undersubscribed because the out-of-work miners they were established to help are convinced that Donald Trump wasn't bullshitting when he promised to bring back coal.
Companies are reluctant to locate facilities in former coal country unless there is a trained workforce to hire.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor has received about $2 million since 2015 from the federal POWER program, an initiative of former President Barack Obama to help retrain workers in coal-dependent areas. But the state is having trouble putting even that modest amount of money to good use.
In Greene and Washington counties, 120 people have signed up for jobs retraining outside the mines, far short of the target of 700, said Ami Gatts, director of the Washington-Greene County Job Training Agency. In Westmoreland and Fayette counties, participation in federal job retraining programs has been about 15 percent of capacity, officials said.
"I can't even get them to show up for free food I set up in the office," said Dave Serock, an ex-miner who recruits in Fayette County for Southwest Training Services.
Awaiting Trump's coal comeback, miners reject retraining
(Image: Yoshiman6464, CC-BY-SA)
(via Naked Capitalism)