GREENE COUNTY (KDKA) – CONSOL Energy is preparing to train a new generation of coal miners.
The company’s Bailey Mine Complex in Greene County is made up of three mines and is the largest underground complex in the world.
It’s also home to the world’s only Underground Training Academy. The concept was created by CONSOL to train miners and supervisors in the same setting where they will be working.
The training academy is in the Bailey Mine Extension about 700 feet below ground.
Students ride an elevator to a tram that takes them to a special part of the mine devoted to learning.
A place where mistakes won’t cost lives.
For decades, coal mines were run by baby boomers.
Now, retirements coupled with expansion in the industry has created the need for new miners.
Consol plans to hire up to 1,000 people over the next year.
About 300 people have already gone through the training academy. Many more are projected to do so in the months and years to come.