Wind Company Offers Free Training for Coal Miners
But these ex-miners might find hope with a most unlikely employer: a wind power company.
The "Goldwind Works" program kicks off next month in Wyoming with informational meetings.
Coal workers are ideal because they have relevant electrical and mechanical skills as well as experience working under difficult conditions, explained David Halligan, Goldwind Americas chief executive.
"If you're a wind technician, you obviously can't be afraid of heights. You have to be able to work at heights, and you have to be able to work at heights in a safe manner," he told the Times.
Goldwind will supply up to 850 turbines for a project in Carbon County. About 200 workers will be needed to maintain and operate the plant once construction is complete.
Wyoming, which has waged a quasi-war on wind, happens to be the only state that that taxes wind energy production. However, the state also has some of the nation's best on-shore wind resources, with wind power constituting 8 percent of the state's energy.
"If we can tap into that market and also help out folks that might be experiencing some challenges in the work force today, I think that it can be a win-win situation," Halligan said.
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.