Mine training has changed since accidents like the one that killed 12 miners in Sago, West Virginia. That mine explosion happened two years ago today. In Greene County, a training center for the United Mine Workers of America goes beyond what federal and state laws require.
The center has a simulated mine where trainees can experience what it's like to go underground. A new, larger simulated mine is expected to be ready by late this summer. The Executive Director of the training center, Clemmy Allen, says it may be the only one of its kind in the country. And he says this comes at a time mine owners are desperate for more workers. Many miners are retiring, and Allen acknowledges some people may shy away from the industry after hearing about Sago and other accidents. But he says the United States remains dependent on coal, and he doesn't think that will change in the near future, despite new attention to energy alternatives.