MECC to Host Welding Course for Dislocated Employees, Families of Mining and Mining-Related Industries

Big Stone Gap — Mountain Empire Community College and the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board will host a second intensive, 80-hour welding course for individuals who have been laid off due to mining and mining-related industry labor reductions.

A recent MECC welding class for dislocated coal industry workers, taught by Ben Kennedy of Dickenson County Schools, began in late March at Ridgeview High School in Clintwood. The response was so overwhelming that additional class nights were proposed and now a second, concurrent class has been scheduled to begin Monday, April 17. It will be held Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. or Mondays and Thursdays from 3:45 p.m. to 9 p.m., depending on students’ schedules and preferences.  Both MECC welding courses will run through June 1.

Laid-off coal miners, power plant workers, and other dislocated coal industry workers may qualify for free educational training supported by Mountain Empire Community College, the POWER-Resource Full National Dislocated Worker Grant (NDWG), the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), and the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board.

Those interested in applying should call Stephen Mullins, Regional POWER Grant Coordinator, at 276.608.0369.