Training program for displaced coal miners, former coal employees in Bell Co.

Published 6:15 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Are you a displaced coal miner or former coal employee in Bell County?

If so, you could qualify for technical skills training through The Center for Rural Development’s Displaced Coal Miner Training (DCMT) program.

The program provides assistance with tuition or training expenses for displaced coal miners and former coal employees who have been adversely impacted by the declining coal industry in 13 Kentucky counties.

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“I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the Displaced Coal Miner Training program,” said Mark Lane, a displaced coal miner who went to work in the coal mines of Eastern Kentucky shortly after graduating high school. “I always wanted to go to college, but I didn’t have the money and never thought it was possible.”

Thanks to the funding assistance Lane received through the DCMT program, he is currently a student at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and expects to graduate in May with an associate’s degree in nursing. He is the first male in his family to graduate college from five generations of coal miners.

The Center for Rural Development partners with training facilities in Southern and Eastern Kentucky to fund technical skills training for qualified applicants in more than 15 different career fields.

“The goal of the Displaced Coal Miner Training program is to provide funding for training to better equip displaced coal miners with the skills they need to find gainful employment in Eastern Kentucky,” said Patti Simpson, training manager for the Business & Community Training Center at The Center. “We still have grant funding available to help qualified applicants receive assistance with tuition or training expenses.”

The DCMT program is open to displaced coal miners and former coal employees who reside in Bell, Clay, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Harlan, McCreary, Owsley, Perry, Pulaski, Rockcastle and Whitley counties.

Applicants must have at least one year of employment in the coal mine industry within the last five years to qualify for funding for technical skills training.

The program is administered by The Center and funded through a private grant to provide training and re-employment services to displaced coal miners and former coal employees impacted by layoffs and coal mine closures.

For more information on the DCMT program, contact Patti Simpson at 606-677-6000 or visit to view a complete list of courses available through the training catalog.