#SOL17: Coal, Bees, & Apprenticeships

I love social media–especially Twitter and Facebook. I’m a retired teacher, whose volunteering includes political activism. My most re-posted article on Facebook was “Coal miners are refusing to learn new skills because of faith in Trump,” by Kali Holloway at Raw Story. It focused on troubles in southern Pennsylvania getting people to show up for training, as they’re less than 20% full. Reuters reports the Appalachian Regional Commissioner states the area has 33K less mining jobs than 2011. Robert Murray, CEO of the largest US private coal mine, advised Trump before and after the election to tone down promises of coal industry resurgence. Even Trump’s chief economic adviser and director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohen, has spoken about the superiority of other forms of energy over coal. Cohn asserted that solar and win power is a powerhouse and environmentally friendly. Trump’s platform lamented that the USA’s greatness was in the past and is now on decline, probably due to the rise of non-white populations. Down-and-out coal towns can’t attract new businesses with workers with outdated skills.

I found this sad article about the neglect of retraining soon after reading that some out-of-work West Virginia coal miners are getting retrained in bee keeping. https://www.morningagclips.com/coal-miners-shift-to-beekeeping/ My retweet caught the attention of a rapper from Puerto Rico, which made me happy. Furthermore, I told a guitarist acquaintance of mine from West Virginia about the new job training.

An apprenticeship program by four senators, including Tim Kaine, the 2016 running mate of Hillary Clinton, looked like an ideal plan for for preparing young people for skilled jobs after high school. The apprentices would make some money while they learned a trade, and their employers would receive tax breaks. https://www.kaine.senate.gov/press-releases/kaine-cantwell-collins-gillibrand-announce-apprenticeship-bill-to-train-the-next-generation-of-american-workers

Here’s a more recent plan by Tim Kaine and his colleagues to boost vocational training in high school. https://www.scribd.com/document/341866114/Educating-Tomorrow-s-Workforce-Act-Fact-Sheet-2017

As you can see, I’m looking to endorse specific plans to advance employment prospects in careers that are in demand and don’t require lots of time and money to achieve it.

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