MUD FORK — During graduation ceremonies recently, some seniors not only received a high school diplomas, but they also were presented an Underground Mining Certification and three hours of college credit.
In a new collaborative effort this school year between Logan County Schools and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Senior students from the Ralph R. Willis Career and Technical Center in Logan County who graduated from Chapmanville Regional, Logan and Man High Schools were able to take the “Underground” mining assessment to be certified by the State of West Virginia on May 18. These students met the requirements in their particular technical area as well as obtaining the mining certification.
Students had a unique opportunity to be trained by Southern and Task Force 1 instructors and train in the State-of-the-art Mine Academy located in downtown Logan. Students master concepts relating to mine safety, emergency equipment and operations, advanced first aid, fundamentals of mining and engineering techniques along with environmental design and procedures for modern mining facilities.
“Academy instructors reported that these high school seniors were superior in all of their studies and work at the simulated mine they have trained in,” said Carl Baisden, Director of Academy training at Southern. “The result from these excellent scores in their studies means that West Virginia mining operations have an opportunity to secure incumbent workers that possess advanced skill sets and modern training with a work ethic and an ‘old school want to work attitude,’ just what the companies say they desire and have difficulty locating.”
Baisden says the obvious success of the program ensures future expansion of this and other advanced technical training programs that Logan County Schools and Southern will champion together in the future.