Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Region pulls together to support Patriot miners

by Matt Hughes
J-E Editor
      In the weeks since Patriot Coal announced the closing of two area mines, organizations from around the region have pulled together to help those out of worker miners take the next step. Earlier this week Kentucky Career Center’s Green River office announced it would present Rapid Response meetings on Friday, January 9, for Patriot Coal Corp. employees affected by recent layoffs. Today it was announced that there would we a job fair on Friday, and laid off miners would be eligible for discounted internet service.

        Employers from around the region who have job openings that could be filled by workers affected by the closing of Patriot Coal mines in Union County are urged to participate in a job fair set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jan. 29 in the Sandy Lee Watkins Lab at Henderson Community College's Sullivan Technology Center.
        "Patriot's workforce in Western Kentucky includes some of the finest, most-skilled folks in our region, and I know other firms in our area could use their services," Kyndle CEO Brad Schneider said. "The mine closures are a dark cloud, but a silver lining could be the hiring of these talented people with other local companies."
          In addition to companies looking for new workers, education, training and social service and entrepreneurship support agencies are also welcome to have tables at the fair.
         To reserve a table, or for more information, contact Kyndle Economic Development Coordinator, John Mathias at (270) 826-7505 or
        The fair is a joint effort of Kyndle, the Green River Area Development District, Union County First, Henderson Community College Workforce Solutions, the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet and the Murray State Small Business Development Center.
        ConnectGRADD rural broadband-a partnership of the seven-county Green River Area Development District and Internet service provider QWireless-is offering special rates to any displaced Patriot employee or family member.
           Discounts include half-price services for six months to new or existing subscribers, as well as free installation for new customers; and these can be applied to any residential package. (Complete package and pricing information is available at<>.)
           "We want to provide support to those affected by these layoffs," said Joey Randolph, director of sales and marketing for Q-Wireless. "And we recognize the importance of Internet connectivity in the search for employment and/or training for new job opportunities."
            These discounts are effective immediately. Customers displaced by mine closures can call Q-Wireless at 1-877-472-3341 to request the discount.
            The ConnectGRADD regional broadband initiative, one of the first of its kind in the nation, was launched in 2007. Utilizing 59 transmission towers, the system currently provides affordable, high-speed Internet access to more than 3,500 rural customers in Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties.

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