Governor Wolf Announces Funding to Repurpose the United Mine Workers of America Career Centers’ Training Center to Connect Dislocated Workers with Family-Sustaining Employment
January 11, 2018
Prosperity, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf was joined by Senator Camera Bartolotta and Representative Pam Snyder to announce $3 million in funding to repurpose the existing training facilities of United Mine Workers of America Career Centers’ (UMWACC) to provide broader retraining for dislocated workers focused on high priority occupations.
“Since I became governor, I have worked hard to ensure that when state government is investing in our local communities and we are directing our resources towards projects that give our citizen’s the greatest possible chance to obtain good, high-paying jobs in meaningful careers,” said Governor Wolf. “It’s important that all Pennsylvanians have a pathway to the middle-class, and can contribute to our businesses and the overall economy of Pennsylvania. This project delivers on those goals, and I am proud to partner with UMWACC in this effort.”
The Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program (RACP) funds will be used to repurpose the UMWACC existing training facilities including the construction of a new Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) pad, along with a diesel building addition, and roof repairs to the existing facility.
“It is our intent to develop a state of the art workforce training center for dislocated miners, their children, and for anyone wanting to train for economic advancement,” said Clemmy Allen, Executive Director, United Mine Workers of America Career Centers. “With this Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from the commonwealth, we will begin the process of constructing a first-class adult workforce training center in Greene County.”
The funding will support UMWACC’s efforts to provide broader retraining for dislocated workers to get them back to work by will collaborating with area technical centers and community colleges to connect dislocated workers with training that will prepare them for occupations such as those requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), as well as advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity.
“This vocational training facility is exactly the type of pro-growth strategy we need for family-sustaining job creation that will revitalize our communities,” said Senator Bartolotta. “My thanks go out to Governor Wolf and his team for recognizing the importance of this project to the local economy and taking the time to visit the site firsthand. The completion of this project will open up a wealth of new job opportunities by equipping local workers and those affected by coal mine closure with the skills needed in important emerging markets.”
“The state grant will spark new, UMWA retraining programs for unemployed workers and represents a valuable investment in the local workforce and economy,” said Representative Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington and a chairman of the House of Representatives’ Coal Caucus. “I thank Governor Wolf and all those who have pursued this worthwhile funding that will upgrade job skills and better position local working families for the 21st century economy.”
The project will include several phases beginning with the dismantling of the 40,000 square-foot simulated coal mine and renovations to include a new concrete floor, classroom space, computer labs, restrooms, and a study/lounge area. At the same time, and in order to support the CDL program, UMWACC will demolish and remove the tin smoke mine located on the lower property to prepare the site for the CDL pad. It is estimated that during the initial phase approximately 400 workers will be trained, with no less than 85 percent placed in family-sustaining employment.
The United Mine Workers of America Career Centers, Inc. (UMWACC), was established under the United Mine Workers of American (UMWA) in 1996 to service dislocated workers. The UMWA Career Centers, Inc. has provided comprehensive job training and placement services to more than 6,807 dislocated miners in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Of the 6,807 dislocated miners enrolled in UMWA Career Centers, Inc. programs, more than 4,480 of them received training and 4,342 of them returned to the workforce in jobs earning an average wage of $18.74 plus benefits.