After touring a West Virginia coal mine and convening roundtables of coal workers and workforce officials last week, Representatives David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced legislation today to assist coal workers who have lost their jobs due to a downturn in the coal industry. The Healthy Employee Loss Prevention Act (HELP Act) would provide retraining and job search assistance to displaced workers in coal communities across the country.
"Entire communities in West Virginia and across coal country are being decimated by job losses and bankruptcies," Congressman McKinley said. "Coal miners, machinists, truck drivers, and others working in other jobs connected to the coal industry are being hurt by factors beyond their control, whether it be regulations and market forces. This legislation represents a bipartisan effort to offer help to the hardworking people in West Virginia and across the coal fields who are struggling."
"Times are tough for coal workers. For generations, they have risked their lives to keep our homes warm, factories working, and lights on. Now it's time for America to help them," Congressman Welch said. "As our energy landscape changes, Congress has an moral obligation to ensure displaced workers in the coal industry transition to meaningful careers in other industries."