Blue-collar Workers, Coal Miners, Struggle in West Virginia

This article talks about solutions to decreasing jobs for blue-collar workers, specifically coal workers. The article is a dialogue between PBS news correspondant, Hari Sreenivasan and struggling coal workers from the Appalachian state of West Virginia. West Virigina, as the article says, "put all its eggs in one basket" with coal mining. Offering recent high school graduates incomes of $50,000 is highly enticing and for some, enough to persuade them from progressing their college education altogether. By not diversifying its portfolio, West Virgina has tied itself to a sinking ship and that ship is coal. However, with other sources of energy increasing in popularity, coal workers have been receiving drastically less in wages - about $11/hr, 33hrs/wk (much less than before). In order to prevent this from becoming an ecomonic collapse, workers are provided with community college and skill training education for multiple hours a week so they are able to gain tangible skills necessary for other jobs.

The solution to providing a sustainable life to workers of dying industries is re-education. Before all forms of public education is free, the government should specifically fund those of dying industries, hit the worst by modern changes in the economy, with education that can provide them with skills and knowledge to be successful in other careers.

Do you think this is something the government should be providing? Do you think it's just to provide this only to blue-collar workers? Do you think there is a better way of providing a good life for workers of dying industries? I'm curious to see what the rest of the caucus thinks.

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