- Strengthening the U.S. Economy
- Arch Coal Takes a Hands-on Approach to Supporting the Local Economy
November 17, 2016
For decades, coal miners have played an important role in the American economy, providing affordable, reliable energy as well as an essential component of steel production. At Arch Coal, the contributions the company makes to the economy go beyond national contributions. The company also focuses on the communities in which its employees live and work.
One example is Arch Coal’s Leer Mining Complex in West Virginia. Recognizing that it is important to impart skills and expertise to the next generation of miners, Leer partners with a local high school to give young people a chance at a great career in their own community.
Led by a certified instructor, the Red Hat program provides an 80-hour course in underground mining to high school seniors who are at least 18 years old. Upon completion, students can sit for their Red Hat Certification. Once certified, participants have the opportunity to work at any underground coal mine in West Virginia.
The Leer complex pledged to hire these Red Hats, providing full-time employment with continued employment based on performance. The Red Hats who successfully completed the program were gainfully employed by the operation just a few weeks after graduation.
Currently, more than 70 percent of the Red Hats hired by Leer are still working and the program graduated its second class of miners in early June.
This is just one of the countless examples of how the mining industry is showing its dedication to the communities it calls home.