With approximately 400 displaced coal miners in the county looking for work and facing the end of unemployment benefits in just days, a program created by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program called H.O.M.E. — Hiring Our Miners Everyday — is now available to help qualified laid-off miners and their spouses receive the support and training they need to get back into the workforce.
Speaking at a meeting of the Harlan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Workforce Investment Act Director Celia Joyce said this two-year National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration is open to residents and employers who meet the grant specifications. She said the program offers on-the-job training, class room training, skilled apprenticeships and other services.
“We’re having an open enrollment for the H.O.M.E. program on Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Harlan County Extension Depot in Harlan,” said Joyce. “Please bring your Social Security card and your valid Kentucky driver’s license to enroll for assistance for new skilled jobs opportunities and training. If you know any miners please tell them about this event so that they may plan to attend.”
Joyce said through this program they are hoping to help more than 100 unemployed people with things such as free short-term training, which will hopefully enable them to find work in Harlan County and other surrounding areas.
“Another way we are trying to help, we are currently at the Harlan Office of Employment two days a week to help those who are unemployed — being more accessible,” said Joyce. “We are currently accepting applications for Tractor Supply and screening those applications for them.”
Joyce said if any employer is interested in having their applicants screened, her agency is more than qualified to do this. It is a free service.
“If employers are interested in on-the-job training, you can take a person in, give them a job and we’ll pay half the salary and you’ll pay half the salary,” said Joyce. “We also offer many other services. We have job clubs with qualified people who meet weekly to help those people looking for employment. They meet each Wednesday at 1 p.m. with new members beginning with orientation at 12:30 p.m. at the Harlan County Depot in Harlan. Anyone who is unemployed — looking for help, may contact us at (606) 589-3243 or email at email@example.com for more information. We are here to help in any way we can.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org