Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has declared the week of April 28-May 4, 2013 at Coal Education Week in the Mountain State. Tomblin made the announcement at a ceremony at the State Capitol Wednesday, April 17, 2013.
Present for the announcement were the board members of CEDAR (Coal Education Development and Resource), WV Coal Association members and Omar Elementary’s fourth grade students.
The Proclamation recognizes the importance of coal in West Virginia from fuel that powered the transformation of the United States during the Industrial Revolution to present day through economic development and diversification resulting in new commercial, industrial, agricultural, public, residential and recreational facilities on land made available through coal mining.
63,000 West Virginia families depend on the coal industry for their livelihoods. The industry each year pays more than $3.4 billion in wages and generates more than $26 billion in total economic impact. Coal severance taxes pay for the construction of roads, bridges, hospitals and schools throughout the state and 98 percent of West Virginia’s electricity is generated by coal.
Coal Education Week includes a Regional Coal Fair that will be held at the Harless Community Center in Gilbert April 29-May 3, a picnic/tour of the student projects on Tuesday night to recognize all the winning students with radio stations WXCC and WVOW interviewing student participants live. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is taping a television show with the winning students.
The Tug Valley Mining Institute will host their monthly dinner meeting on Thursday night, May 2, at the Harless Center with guest speaker, Frank Matras, Alpha VP of Operations.
Stacie Vaughn Hutton, a southeastern Ohio native and author of Shovelful of Sunshine, a children’s book about the strong coal mining family commitment will be available all week for a book signing.
Pocahontas Land will have a coal tree exhibit on display and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Coal Academy will have an exhibit on display.
The public is urged to come out during this week and support our coal miners by visiting the projects on display at the Harless Community Center in Gilbert.
The CEDAR golf tournament will be May 14 & May 15, at The Twisted Gun Resort, for more information contact Bud Clapp, 304-324-2430.
CEDAR educates students, teachers and parents about coal and its benefits through grant initiatives, coal educational fairs, and scholarships. For more information, contact Georgene Robertson, President of CEDAR of Southern West Virginia, 304/792-8433.