teach coal miners to code
And how much could they earn? You *can* teach a coal miner to code. Paul, a gregarious former surveyor wearing a camo jacket and camo baseball cap, tells me how when he was a kid in Virginia, his school bus was collateral damage of the jackrocks thrown on the road during a mine strike. There go the train operators. have received bipartisan support. When BitSource started advertising the job, Justice was hoping for 50 applications. He, Parrish, and Hall want to fill up their buildings, create an incubator for entrepreneurs, a makerspace for craftsmen, and, someday, if they play their cards incredibly well, a bonafide Pikeville tech scene. By the end of the first week, all 10 coders had built an HTML page — be it a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan or University of Kentucky basketball. They’re all going to need to be fluent in C#. Kentucky has been spending federal funds to train customer service work-from-homers, place out-of-work miners into other jobs, and a coding camp for kids. But even if they’re learning new skills, the ex-miners in the room never overtly criticize their old work—not in front of me, not in front of other ex-miners, not when it’s what paid the bills and kept their region alive for so long and they gave so many years to. There go 70 percent of Justice’s construction jobs. “It touched every button of every stereotype you can put on us, that we’re not smart and can’t do things and are pitiful and all that,” Justice told me. Do the coal miners want to learn to code and are interested in computers? The plan would invest in assets of mining communities, "like a rich culture, natural beauty, a proven workforce, and entrepreneurial spirit.". For decades, miners have been middle-class breadwinners making $60–80,000 a year, with a mortgage and a fishing boat and a truck and kids in new Nikes at basketball practice. Coal piles at the base of a conveyor belt after being cleaned. Meet the Company Teaching Coal Miners To Code. Let’s turn around and go back again. We have to be what we are.”. His backup plan was to follow strip mining work to Wyoming, but the thought of missing his three teens’ last years at home killed him. It wasn’t just about coal politics this time — on that stuff, at least, Justice can agree to disagree. Where great games were played.”, What they’re building in its place is all so fragile and new. “He said, ‘Keep me in mind. The foreman said he got it. The mine security guards. Every cross section of the country has its staple industry. Aug 25, … No one had tried to turn adult miners into coders. Hall is happy with all the updates, whether they’re serious or not. In Kentucky, it’s coal mining, and in much of rural America, it’s agriculture. A mine down in Harlan County was hiring. But Rusty’s unease with Bloomberg turned into a gut-deep animus last year, when the self-confessed hillbilly—if you’re from this part of the world that’s a self-identifier, not an insult—sat down for his weekly, three-hour, Saturday morning news-reading session. Then, three days later, Parrish pulled up at his partner’s house. Well, a junior developer in Kentucky could make $60-$80,000 a year. Justin Hall, blue, works with coder Adriana Abshire and others. BitSource coders work on troubleshooting two of their current projects. During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump ran on bringing coal jobs back to the United States, and Joe Biden said on December 30 that miners should learn to code, as those are the “jobs of the future.” Meanwhile, a third wave of the pandemic is surging. The 2020 presidential hopeful advises coal miners to move into new industries — but it’s not that simple. His extended family still live in the homes and trailers along this creek. Lynn and Rusty even had the perfect space already: A vacant, block-long Coca-Cola bottling plant that they’d bought in the spring. That’s less than miner wages, but it was better than working at the McDonald’s double-lane drive-thru downtown. Famous historical residents of Appalachia decorate a wall in the main workroom of BitSource. COVID-19 recovery spending could catalyze transformative change, but time is running out, What the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests have achieved so far, 'Christmas Star,' not seen in 800 years, will light up on longest night of the year, There's an environmental disaster happening in your washing machine. When he was mining, he’d be lucky to get to his games at half-time, if at all. On the same day his unemployment ran out in March, Jim Ratliff walked through BitSource’s door. “I finally figured out what was wrong with it.”, “I dug ground enough, and figured out how to make that work.”. It’s Friday, and that means team lunch. Hall is a distant cousin of Rusty’s on one side. Proposals to retrain coal miners have received bipartisan support, and The U.S. Department of Labor announced a grant of nearly $5 million for working training programs in Appalachia this year. Three years ago, Justice and Parrish got tired of watching out-of-work coal miners struggling to survive. It was time to go and prove Bloomberg wrong. Meet the Company Teaching Coal Miners To Code - Duration: 4:25. In the end, they got 900. And someone had to turn him around at the end of every row. One of Justice’s takeaways from the management book Antifragile was that everyone needs “skin in the game”: Parrish and Justice would be investing in major capital for the miners to learn, and also be on the hook to drum up clients. Coding is the most in-demand job in today’s economy, Such told them. Several months later, in April 2014, in response to a comment by Mark Zuckerberg about shifts in energy use that has led to many coal mines being closed and coal miners behind laid off, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Future of Energy Summit said, "You’re not going to teach a coal miner to code. “The challenge that we face is not necessarily are the training programs effective? He was right — the people in this room had won the lotto. According to Weigel, the comment was met with silence from the audience. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently announced $2 million in funding from the National Dislocated Workers fund, and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced a fund of more than $1 million from the same fund. Just eight months in, the miners are now building webpages and apps and closing contracts. But at the mines, who knows if the job would last two months, or two weeks? “I don’t know how to break it to you …. At a rally yesterday, Joe Biden advised a crowd in a coal mining town to learn computer programming. It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. Then came an email with a BitSource job offer. And others find it too daunting to learn a complicated new skill late in life. Every other day, they’d discuss new readings from The Pragmatic Programmer, and the guys started ordering more programming books off Amazon to cram at night. Rusty Justice doesn’t think about Michael Bloomberg very often. From Coal To Code: A New Path For Laid-Off Miners In Kentucky : All Tech Considered The state's coal industry is shrinking fast; more than 10,000 workers have lost their jobs since 2008. “This is heartbreaking. Billyjack Buzzard enrolled in Mined Minds' program that promised to give out-of-work coal miners a new start by teaching them how to write computer code. “He says, this is uncomfortable, but it’s not that bad,” Hall recalls. Laucher and Graham said they saw an … The miners underwent 22 weeks of intensive training from open-sourced coding curriculum the founders gathered online, and instructional videos on Lynda.com. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Then, a plan for profit (Justice and Parrish didn’t want a do-gooder charity, they wanted to build a real business.). On the road to a cleaner energy future, the surrounding neck of Appalachia is looking like roadkill. The startup is called BitSource, and the surprising thing is it’s actually working. If so, then, yes absolutely they should learn to code. The coders swivel back to their computers, and Michael announces weekend plans to no one in particular: “Looks like I better learn C#.”. “I will if you will,” Justice said. They’d driven up from Pikeville, turning onto the Mountain Parkway, cutting down through the shale mountains, and chatting like always. If you are a logic-based thinker willing to work and learn new things, we have a career opportunity for you. In fact, he said, they were running classes all the time, teaching teens and college grads how to program. As the bluegrass horse pastures of central Kentucky faded into the red-tinged oak trees covering the Appalachians, they started chatting. EPA clean air regulations have power plants changing over to natural gas, there’s greater regulation of strip mining, and a series of cities, universities, and state pension plans are divesting themselves from coal. After a strip mine is finished getting excavated s radio ad a?. And learn new things, we have a questionable record of success and have not been a part of options... S attention a thing about software essential Source of information and ideas that make sense a... 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