Bigger grants ensure 'good jobs for everyone'

THE US Mine Safety and Health Administration has increased its health and training safety grants for the 2009 fiscal year to more than $US8.3 million, with Kentucky receiving the largest portion of the funding.
Bigger grants ensure 'good jobs for everyone' Bigger grants ensure 'good jobs for everyone' Bigger grants ensure 'good jobs for everyone' Bigger grants ensure 'good jobs for everyone' Bigger grants ensure 'good jobs for everyone'

 

Donna Schmidt

The agency divided $8,310,504 among 47 US states and the Navajo Nation, a slight increase over the $8.2 million distributed in fiscal 2008.

Kentucky was given $617,956, while West Virginia received $554,548 and the third-largest share, $525,147, went to Pennsylvania.

"Comprehensive education and training for miners is a sound investment," MSHA policy deputy assistant secretary Dr Gregory Wagner said.

"At the Department of Labor, our mantra is ‘good jobs for everyone’. A good job is a safe job, and these grants will enable participating states to work toward a goal that we all share – ensuring every miner returns home safely at the end of every working shift."

Other coal-rich states receiving large amounts are:

Virginia – $264,692

Ohio – $258,797

Illinois – $216,548

Colorado – $207,153

Alabama – $196,415

The grants will be used to provide miner training and retraining as required by federal regulations.

Underground and surface coal and metal/nonmetal mines will benefit from the money, as will workers at shell dredging and surface stone, sand and gravel operations.

All of the states applied for grant funding, which is administered by state mine inspection officers as well as state departments of labor and state-supported colleges and universities, MSHA said, with each recipient tailoring their programs and technical assistance to workers’ needs.

Outlines for the state grant program was included in the Coal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969, with states first receiving money in 1971.

For a full list of states receiving grants and the mount received, visit the MSHA website.

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