I have always said that our coal miners are the hardest-working people in America. They have dedicated their lives to powering our nation so we can remain the strongest in the world.
Like many miners in West Virginia, Marvin Laucher feared the decline of the coal mining industry may lead to the loss of his job.
His fear inspired his sister Amanda Laucher and her husband Jonathan Graham to use their technology background to create an opportunity for laid-off miners and unemployed individuals to gain professional technological experience through coding courses.
The Mined Minds Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to training and educating coal miners who have been laid off. It offers courses in Pennsylvania and now, West Virginia. Mined Minds provides students with the technological training they need to become successful software developers and find a job in this exciting field.
I was first introduced to Mined Minds in May when they participated in a job fair I hosted in Logan. I was impressed with their passion for coding and commitment to West Virginia’s workforce.
With every segment of industry becoming more and more dependent on technology, training programs and organizations like Mined Minds are more important than ever before.
Further illustrating their commitment to West Virginia, beginning on Tuesday, Mined Minds is offering a course in Charleston.
The course — over a four-month period — will take place at BridgeValley Community and Technical College. Every Tuesday, students will attend courses tailored to helping them become successful software developers with the skills they need for a new career path.
Mined Minds courses are free to those who qualify, and I strongly encourage everyone interested to take advantage of this wonderful, potentially life-changing opportunity.
Amanda and Jonathan embody the spirit of West Virginia. I have always said that when given the opportunities, West Virginians want to work.
I applaud Mined Minds for creating additional opportunities for West Virginians.
To learn more about Mined Minds and how to register, visit www.minedminds.org.
Joe Manchin is former governor and U.S. Senator from West Virginia.