Upcoming webinars to focus on employment needs of displaced coal workers

Daniel Kington
June 12, 2018

According to a skill-shed analysis conducted by Dr. Jason Jolley, associate professor and director of the Master of Public Administration program at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, most economic growth in regions affected by job loss in the coal mining industry is largely concentrated in healthcare, social services, restaurant and retail. Unfortunately, these sectors generally do not require similar occupational skills to those of former coal workers.

Furthermore, fields that do require occupational skills compatible with those of former coal workers are generally not experiencing significant growth and offer positions that tend to pay less than workers’ former jobs in the coal industry. This means that even if many former coal workers can be employed in areas that require corresponding occupational skills, the economies of former coal mining communities will continue to suffer.

In order to delve more deeply into opportunities for reemploying workers displaced by changes in the coal economy, the Voinovich School will host two U.S. Economic Development Administration-supported webinars later this month. Both webinars are free, and all interested parties are invited to attend, including, but not limited to, local, state, regional and federal officials, economic development practitioners, nonprofit organizations, trade associations, unions and other relevant stakeholders or groups. 

  • Webinar #1: Understanding the Skill Gap and Employment Needs of Displaced Coal-Fired Power Plant Workers
    June 18, 2018: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EDT
    This webinar will review the occupational skills of Appalachian Ohio workers employed in the coal-fired power plant industry. The program will specifically focus on the occupations and skills of individuals working in two Dayton Power and Light facilities scheduled for decommission in Adams County, Ohio. The webinar will discuss the economic and fiscal impacts of this closure and how the skills of workers match emerging occupations in the region.
  • Webinar #2: Closing the Skills Gap for Coal Mine Workers
    June 28, 2018: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EDT
    This webinar will focus more broadly on trends in Ohio and Appalachia’s coal economy, as well as the occupational skills of workers in the coal mining industry. The webinar will then examine the training needs of these workers as they shift to emerging occupations, and the implications of the wage gap that exists between higher-paying coal mining jobs and lower-paying transition positions.

Each webinar will feature Jolley and two other presenters from the Voinovich School: Dr. Gilbert Michaud, an assistant professor of practice, and Dr. Christelle Khalaf, an economic development specialist. Michaud recently completed a report on job trends and projections for the State of Ohio’s energy industries, and Khalaf recently presented on the decline of coal and entrepreneurial behavior amid economic downturns at the 2018 Mid-Continent Regional Science Association conference.

To register for Webinar #1, click here, and to register for Webinar #2, click here.