Thomas Dotson, the Operations Coordinator of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies wants to see more young people staying and working in Southern West Virginia. He believes the mine academy, which offers several training courses, can help meet this achievement. “With these courses, a person would have a great resume to find work,” he says.
The mine academy offers the OSHA 10 Hour Construction Training, which helps to build safety awareness, and is described by Thomas as “a great resume builder.” They also offer WV and KY mining certification and recertification, the WV EMT-M course, and the WV Electrical Hazards Class, one of the busiest classes on campus. They have a simulator for virtual learning, and offer the CAT 777 D and F Rock trucks necessary to complete the course.
Southern is also working on a Lineman’s School, which will offer several other certifications, such as the CDL and OSHA 10 Hour Construction. Beginning September 27, they will begin offering a Heavy Equipment Operators School. “This program is 60 hours long, and teaches students how to do a pre-operational check, OSHA 10 Hour Construction, First Aid and CPR, and the basics of operating an excavator.”
The mine academy is funded by grants from Workforce WV and the Department of Energy, and has been around since 2003. As for Thomas, he has been a part of the program since 2019. “As the coordinator, I schedule classes and work with my instructors,” he says. “I spent over 20 years in the mining industry, and I’m still indirectly involved with the industry.” Thomas has a Bachelor's Degree, and two Masters Degrees, which help to support the mine academy and associated courses.
Want to learn more about this program? Visit the website for more information!
Photos from Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Facebook