He was right — the people in this room had won the lotto. “He said, ‘Keep me in mind. The miners underwent 22 weeks of intensive training from open-sourced coding curriculum the founders gathered online, and instructional videos on Lynda.com. Most had heard the program’s radio ad. That day, Rusty wanted to get them jazzed about his new idea: A hydroseeding app. I wanted to make sure I’d exhausted every revenue source.” Still, he got a face-to-face interview. “Last 24: definitely have not looked at C#,” says Michael Harrison. Garland rubs his brow and shakes his head. He advocates helping lifelong miners secure sustainable jobs and keep their benefits. That’s why, at dawn one October morning last year, he trotted down his driveway towards a silver F-150 truck idling in the street and drove some 150 miles along the Mountain Parkway to Lexington. The mine security guards. It is, are there other industries, for those displaced workers to go to work,”, Some former coal workers resist the training programs altogether. “That’s when we said,” Parrish recalls, “we’ve been working with tradespeople all our life.”. It’s a skill.”. Biden’s recommendation is stale stuff. Some dropped out the first week. I flap it open. But they’re not nostalgic either. While the coal mining industry has long supported many Appalachian communities, jobs in mines are rapidly disappearing, causing residents to lose work and leave their hometowns. Sep 06, 2016. “We ought to try this,” he said, as Justice opened up the door. In Kentucky, it’s coal mining, and in much of rural America, it’s agriculture. But it’s fragile, just 10 people out of thousands, and it has yet to even recover its costs, let alone make a profit. It’s the subtler side of coder culture, the exuberant and unrepentant nerd-dom. “I think we can do this, and I didn’t want to think I left something and it became something really special. So "Teach coal miners to code" is roughly equivalent to saying "Teach gas streetlamp mantle fitters to refurbish carburetors". Just as much as the code, Hall says he had to teach an aptitude for screwing up. “It’s like welding. “I think that job training keeps being promoted because it solves a political problem both for elected officials and for employers, but it doesn’t do anything for the economics,” Gordon Lafer, a University of Oregon professor and author of “The Job Training Charade” told Ohio Valley ReSource. Ratliff knew probably what the employers would want to hear, but “I wanted to be honest.” He answered: overhaul an engine. Some former coal workers resist the training programs altogether, hoping their industry will rebound. But BitSource has to work. The real question isn't can you teach some specific coal miner to code. An employment ad for BitSource . The distaste… I wanted to be a part of it.”. That’s not how it works, but I digress. One day at standup, he said as much, but added that back at the strip mines, he once had to take his lunch break in four feet of sludge up to his chest. As the bluegrass horse pastures of central Kentucky faded into the red-tinged oak trees covering the Appalachians, they started chatting. A mine project manager who, after hours, brought his Xbox to Call of Duty marathons at a buddy’s house. Justice segues into motivational mode. Josh Benton, the deputy secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet in mining-heavy Kentucky, told Ohio Valley ReSource that the biggest problem is whether or not workers actually have other jobs based out of where they live. Ratliff brings up his son’s high school football victory the night before. A brainstorming session left a swirl of ideas. February 2, 2016, 7:01 PM EST Updated on February 3, 2016, 5:34 PM EST Appalachian Miners Are Learning to Code By . have received bipartisan support. You know, make Bloomberg in his smart suit eat crow for once. The great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn — The dawn of a new era? If the coal miners see learning to code as easy ticket to money and have no interest in coding other than that, then, God no, please do not learn 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. Rusty Justice thought he might know miners a little better than some fancy tycoon in New York did. Cause this was a hub of activity, it had an energy all of its own. The job, they determined, would start with a 22-week training program to learn how to code. By Sarah Jones. Whatever happens, the same-old isn’t going to work. Clothes and personal belongings of coal miners are locked and hoisted to the ceiling of the locker room at one of the areas last operating coal mines. They also learned that they were not going to be paid. This week it’s El Azul Grande, a sit-down Mexican restaurant named in honor of the University of Kentucky’s rabid sports fans. “He says, this is uncomfortable, but it’s not that bad,” Hall recalls. Justin Hall, blue, works with coder Adriana Abshire and others. Ratliff is not one to walk away from a challenge. America is changing fast! But if San Francisco’s 20-somethings can create apps to bring them dinner and wash their laundry, then here, the developers can scratch their own itches in a different way. It is, are there other industries, for those displaced workers to go to work,” he said. “Don’t they need a computer science degree?” asked Justice. During a rally yesterday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke to a crowd in Derry, N.H., a town that many miners call home. But until there’s some serious new high-paying option, most ex-mine workers are getting by on unemployment, taking lower paying jobs, moving away, or, as one put it to me, “going into panic mode.”. It’s not that stuff like that doesn’t exist—but if the world always insisted on zooming in on your warts, you’d be resentful, too. Hydroseeding, for the uninitiated, happens after a strip mine is finished getting excavated. The U.S. Department of Labor announced a fund of nearly $5 million for working training programs in Appalachia earlier this year. Lexington tech companies couldn’t find enough. , hoping their industry will rebound. The two had looked for a solution in several potential industries over the last two years: wind farms, fish farms, farm farms. Rusty takes a seat, checks Twitter, and then calls out for everyone’s attention. He’d go to the end of the row and stop. This? To say that his handlers must have been gnashing their teeth is an understatement. It’s a trade. So the owners of Jigsaw, a Pikeville, KY, excavation and engineering company, … “No,” said Such. Retraining programs have a questionable record of success and have not been a guarantee of employment for coal miners who have lost their jobs. The conversation splinters out in a dozen directions. Let’s consider that to learn how to code, all you need is the desire to do so, a computer, and an internet connection, and a typical American household, even a financially struggling one, has all three. “This is heartbreaking. There was just one woman—a mining engineer who was originally from Mexico, and had been out of work for two years. It’s important they know how to fix headers. There were 10 newbies, and they did a quick round of introductions. Intrigued, Justice and Parrish piled back into the F-150. With coal mining at a 35-year low, coal regions have been struggling with job losses and stagnant local economies. It was time to go and prove Bloomberg wrong. Although they are often touted as a solution, retraining programs have a questionable record of success. Left to right, Garland Couch, Michael Harrison, William Stevens and Brack Quillen take a break outside the office. Each coal job supports three-and-a-half others, which means if you pull the plug on them, the economy goes out. The coders swivel back to their computers, and Michael announces weekend plans to no one in particular: “Looks like I better learn C#.”. Although they are often touted as a solution, retraining programs have a questionable record of success, Some displaced coal workers do transition into other fields or industries, but c. ritics say that the jobs that former coal workers usually find tend to pay only $12 to $15 dollars per hour as opposed to the approximate $75,000 a year salary that coal workers had while working in the mines. Don’t you go thinking — not for even a second — that BitSource has found the answer. The optimism surrounding the place doesn’t make the sight of Eastern Kentucky hurt any less. “Windshield time,” Justice calls it. At a rally yesterday, Joe Biden advised a crowd in a coal mining town to learn computer programming. Conversely, if everything worked, they would all make money, and the miners would have some of the first coding jobs in Appalachia. He added later: “Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!”. Trainees would be paid $15 an hour, which came from federal funds pumped through a regional economic development agency. Retraining programs have received bipartisan support. but no.”. But when he does — even if it’s just for a moment — it’s like remembering the gloating rich kid who stole his lunch. “The challenge that we face is not necessarily are the training programs effective? Of the coders, the only non-mine-related worker was a former crime reporter for a Virginia newspaper. But then things got really weird when he starting talking about coal miners. Homes clustered together are seen out a second story window at BitSource. Some displaced coal workers do transition into other fields or industries, but critics say that the jobs that former coal workers usually find tend to pay only $12 to $15 dollars per hour as opposed to the approximate $75,000 a year salary that coal workers had while working in the mines. May 25, 2018 - Rusty Justice doesn’t think about Michael Bloomberg very often. why suggest that coal miners learn to code? The group settles around a long table, and bow their heads as Hall says grace, before digging into their enchiladas and Californian burritos. In the rain, the old structures are desolate and spooky, ghosts of a mythic industry I’ve never seen up close before. Justice never imagined the crash would be this sudden nor this bad, but things just keep piling on. Meet the Company Teaching Coal Miners To Code - Duration: 4:25. Code fills the screen of a BitSource coder. “Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well,” Biden said at a New Hampshire event Monday. 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. So they decided to start a new business—a software development company that would hire former miners in eastern Kentucky, first teaching … There's no doubt you're going to be able to find some former coal miners who would make good coders. Not all programming is esoteric and difficult, and programming skills apply in job areas all over the planet, not just silicon valley, and not just dedicated programming jobs. With some coal company stocks crashing 95 percent in value over the last five years, I would say it’s way, way worse. Proposals to retrain coal miners … It’s a rainy Saturday morning, and Justice wants to take me around the place. It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. A jolly 50-something man who had sold equipment to the coal companies, and made use of his unemployment to become a Baptist minister. Justice and his business partner M. Lynn Parrish—they’ve run Jigsaw Enterprises together for five years—have long accepted it: coal is basically over. It makes me feel like a dinosaur, really, wandering around. Josh Benton, the deputy secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet in mining-heavy Kentucky. “I didn’t like the work, I liked the people.”, This summer, Ratliff got a call from the same foreman who laid him off. Ex- miners whose jobs disappeared in the downturn are learning to build websites and apps in the heart of Appalachia at a startup called BitSource. As America goes digital, its bluest collar workers are facing the toughest challenge of their lives. The distaste started when the New York City billionaire donated $50 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign back in 2011, and continued when he poured in another $30 million this year. It’s like being at the stadium, all those people come together and they create this atmosphere? The U.S. Department of Labor announced a fund of nearly $5 million for working training programs in Appalachia earlier this year. “They’re blue-collar coders. And how much could they earn? At first Ratliff struggled to keep up. That’s less than miner wages, but it was better than working at the McDonald’s double-lane drive-thru downtown. Other than taking chewing tobacco breaks, it’s their one social activity (no happy hours when everyone commutes an hour each way to work, or has kids to get back to). “I’ve missed a lot of my children growing up. Outsiders have never gotten Appalachia — or else, they get the version they want: the one with the meth and Mountain Dew mouth, the incest, the painkillers, the welfare, all captured by journalists parachuting in for their regular dose of poverty porn. 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. On the same day his unemployment ran out in March, Jim Ratliff walked through BitSource’s door. On Wall Street, it’s a big enough problem that the New York Stock Exchange threatened former industrial titans with delisting. The startup is called BitSource, and the surprising thing is it’s actually working. “I finally figured out what was wrong with it.”, “I dug ground enough, and figured out how to make that work.”. Appalachian Miners Are Learning to Code By . Let’s not be like that old mule. The 2020 presidential hopeful advises coal miners to move into new industries — but it’s not that simple. 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. Every cross section of the country has its staple industry. They met Marvin Laucher, Ms. Laucher’s brother, the former coal miner, now their main instructor. You would never guess it by looking at him. Although the industry added 4,500 jobs from 2016 to 2018, U.S. coal production decreased by 10 percent in 2019 and jobs are at risk. 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. But it’s just as important that they screw around with Unity in their spare time. “It was like waving a red flag in front of a bull’s face.”. This was just patronizing. There he was, this business mogul, preaching “compassion” for the miners watching their world collapse — while simultaneously saying they couldn’t be retrained to work in America’s hottest industry. For instance, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a conference in 2014: "You're not going to teach a coal miner to code." Rusty Justice doesn’t think about Michael Bloomberg very often. Dev Bootcamp shuttering shows challenges of teaching coal miners to code. At a rally yesterday, Joe Biden advised a crowd in a coal mining town to learn computer programming. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. And, like any good startup, they kicked it off by making a T-shirt. Meanwhile, a third wave of the pandemic is surging. Via New York Magazine, Please Stop Telling Miners To Learn To Code: God only knows where Biden got the idea that coal mining consists of throwing the stuff into a furnace. The cashiers at the family-run grocery store. Piles of coal fill a piece of land near the office. The place looked like a coding shop: a “binary canary” logo looked over the stairs, old coal sacks and tools decorated the lobby. After all, coal was the back-end code of 200 years of industrial progress — the fuel that bent the steel for Ford cars and train tracks and skyscrapers, and much of the electricity to light them. “Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well,” Biden said at a New Hampshire event Monday.. They filed into a glass-walled conference room along with a gang of other Kentucky entrepreneurs, to speak with the space’s 29-year-old co-founder Nick Such. Then came an email with a BitSource job offer. They’re not Stanford grads in hoodies, or dropouts in turtlenecks. I might need a job.’”. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed and engaged. Now they’re hitting the unemployment office in the thousands, signing up for help. Waking up at 3:30 in the morning to go work in the strip mines “wide open, just as hard as you could get it” for 10 to 12 hours a day for the last 14 years will do that to you. Other than being handy with an iPhone, and tracking their truck fleet on iPads, neither of them knew a thing about software. 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. The one where he was born, right there, in that shingled white house. “I am blue collar,” Justice tells me later. Ratliff dialed the foreman back the next day. “My dad had a mule. They can’t go home again. A mine down in Harlan County was hiring. 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 math was easy—he’d started college on an academic scholarship in the late 90’s, but when his wife got pregnant, he dropped out to start working. We got to fix the holes in our game, and get this baby in the air. Ratliff is a solid 6-foot-2, fourth-generation miner, a 38-year-old with a stoic, worn bearing. Michael Harrison grabs his lunchbox, the same one he used in his coal mining days. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design. But what’s really haunting to Justice is not these old bodies, but the newly dead: each bend in the road reveals another abandoned mine, their massive conveyer belts gone silent. For those hoping to preserve the community they’ve long been a part of, options may seem few and far between. Here's how to clean it up. “Have you been laid off from a job in the mining industry? As the weeks passed they added in more languages: CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, then Bootstrap and Drupal. Coal piles at the base of a conveyor belt after being cleaned. When you came here, you were IN something. He points out a long-abandoned red-brick company store; the lane where all the managers lived. Coding is the most in-demand job in today’s economy, Such told them. There go 70 percent of Justice’s construction jobs. 'Brain-eating' amoeba may be spreading northwards, Amazon aims to lower the cost of health care by offering new medical services through an app: report, Dangerous volcano erupts after earthquake rocks Hawai'i's Big Island, Drug overdose deaths accelerating due to pandemic: CDC, Stanford frontline health care workers slam chaos in COVID-19 vaccine rollout. When he was mining, he’d be lucky to get to his games at half-time, if at all. 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. Then, three days later, Parrish pulled up at his partner’s house. The miners would have to learn or they would be fired, and if too many of them failed, so would the business. Famous historical residents of Appalachia decorate a wall in the main workroom of BitSource. His brown beard is edged with gray. “I’m trying to sound smart and sell tech,” he says. It can happen two hours from the nearest airport, in a place where building a new road requires sawing a mountain in half, by people who have different politics, accents and hobbies than the end-users. They’d driven up from Pikeville, turning onto the Mountain Parkway, cutting down through the shale mountains, and chatting like always. 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. It reads: WIRED is where tomorrow is realized. First, a name (they picked BitSource, after realizing that a coder’s “bit” could be a play on bituminous coal.) Good news, coal miners: Joe Biden has a brilliant … They called them company towns for a reason. “They believe they can do it. Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!”. “I’m not going to lie,” Garland tells me about his first time pushing code live to a website the team was building, “I was sitting there for 15 minutes before I had the nerve to push the button.”. He’s the resident jokester, wearing blue Chuck Taylors and a fierce red mountain beard that hipsters can try to mimic, but would fail. The coders are getting it — they’re building websites, closing contracts. If so, then, yes absolutely they should learn to code. Then he asked Ratliff if BitSource was hiring. And it turns out the assessment was incredibly adept at finding the miners who could be part of the club. All rights reserved. They move some of the earth back into place and grow grass to stabilize the fresh soil and make it look mountain-ish again. “No, I don’t miss this at all,” Harrison, the former mechanic, told me while showing me a video of his old underground worksite on YouTube. Researchers advise that investing in industries based in the local area can ease the transition out of mining. The foreman said he got it. 3. The federal government has pumped nearly $23 million into the region in the last two years to diversify the post-coal economy and retrain miners into jobs like installing broadband fiber. BitSource would like to hire a second class of coders at the beginning of the new year. “I’m just seeing this now,” he says, before reading out the news of more mines closing and hundreds of new layoffs since Alpha, the coal company, filed for bankruptcy. In fact, Kentucky is the only rural area included in the White House’s TechHire program to train people for digital jobs. 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. In fact, they’ve already got a name for this reinvention effort, the concept that ties everything together. Story at a glance. We just need playing time.”, The Rusty Justice seminar concludes for today. The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries. Aug 25, … When they get back to the office, Rusty Justice blazes in. He grew up near Pikeville, but left for a software career in Lexington, where he found himself ironing out the more ornate twists in his Appalachian lilt; it brings stigma even in the central part of the state, not to mention West Coast conferences. His extended family still live in the homes and trailers along this creek. And others find it too daunting to learn a complicated new skill late in life. Vocativ 5,570 views. “People are going to have to get laid off,” Andrew Cosgrove, a mining analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence has said. Estimating how much and what kind of seed to buy can be a money-wasting crapshoot. professor and author of “The Job Training Charade” told Ohio Valley ReSource. Hall is happy with all the updates, whether they’re serious or not. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images. “Fail fast and iterate” is not the going ethos of mining, where a wrong move means the wrong part of a mountain gets blown off and your ass gets chewed. “So you don’t have to teach motivation.”, Just as much as the code, Hall says he had to teach an aptitude for screwing up. Just eight months in, the miners are now building webpages and apps and closing contracts. “I will if you will,” Justice said. If you are a logic-based thinker willing to work and learn new things, we have a career opportunity for you. Even liberal media types are not amused. Lynn and Rusty even had the perfect space already: A vacant, block-long Coca-Cola bottling plant that they’d bought in the spring. He wasn’t alone. More than a century later, Hall looks and acts like a calm, khaki-wearing suburban dad, who is seriously stoked when @SiriouslySusan follows BitSource on Twitter. You’re not going to teach a coal miner to code. 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.” I think we’re proficient, but we’re not yet efficient. You bet people here have a chip on their shoulder. 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. He mentioned healthcare, construction, education, and tourism as promising fields. It started three years ago when Rusty Justice and M. Lynn Parrish, the owners of a Pikeville, Kentucky excavation and engineering company called Jigsaw, got tired of watching out-of-work coal miners struggling to survive. That’s when he came across Bloomberg’s latest jab. Terms like “startup” and “incubator” conjure up images of apple laptops, flannel shirts, Doc Martens, and $5 espressos. Former Vice President Joe Biden suggested Monday that displaced coal miners should learn to code. 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. Now the challenge is one that’s very typical to startups: how to scale. It’s gotta be. The need for a solution for coal miners continues. It’s just as important they know he’s speaking emoji when he says “sad face” in a sentence, and that they crack up at programmer memes. Yesterday, I published a story on Backchannel called “Canary in the Code Mine” that shows, quite literally, you can teach a coal miner to code. News Joe Biden Coding Coal 2020 Election During a campaign event on Monday, Joe Biden suggested coal miners could simply learn to code to transition to "jobs of the future." And although tech scenes have cropped up in cities in the middle of the country — Boulder, Austin, Indianapolis — things still lag in truly rural areas. We clamber into his F-150 and he drives me through the hollers. By Kevin Collier. He does this several times a week, often waxing inspirational or trying to find out what the coders are up to, even if it drives him crazy that he can’t see or understand their progress. There go the machinery vendors and mechanics. Where great games were played.”, What they’re building in its place is all so fragile and new. “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. Jigsaw is right there in that corrugated steel building. And then there’s the work. Inside, Awesome had all the visual shorthand of Silicon Valley: ping pong table, programmer books, entrepreneurs typing at rented desks. But, Rusty thought a potential miner-to-coder pipeline actually makes a weird kind of sense. Rusty, you see, runs a land-moving company in Eastern Kentucky, and the anti-coal movement is playing a big role in systematically closing down the industry he’s worked around all his life. Rusty hands me one as I step out of the F-150 in front of my hotel. BitSource whittled the 900 applications down to 60 frontrunners, then gave them a written test that measured three criteria — Were they logical? We drive out through Pike County, down the side of a mountain on a gravel road, until we reach the 1920’s-era duplex houses of a former company coal camp called Stone. Instead, Lafer recommended training people and investing in industries that have to stay local. Shawn Hopkins, a former newspaper reporter, helps Paul Gorman look over a section of code. The bartenders. Dell monitors sat on a dozen desks, murals of Appalachians who’d made it big covered the walls. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Now that they graduated from training and had started building their first professional webpages, the $18-an-hour BitSource wage for junior coders still didn’t match mining. Coal is to Eastern Kentucky what tech is to Silicon Valley — the most copious, best-paid work that pushes every other lever in the economy. Instead, Lafer recommended training people and investing in industries that have to stay local. It’s pretty typical to view miners as downtrodden grunts who would have done anything else if they could have (see: Bloomberg). The coders listen to what Justice wants, then start to discuss how the app would work. One had tried to turn adult miners into coders rural area included in the.. Eastern Kentucky closed for two or three decades most in-demand job in the room... 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Re hitting the unemployment office in the locker room of a new era, Justice can agree to disagree that! Time, ” Justice tells me later Ms. Laucher ’ s carbon footprint industries that have to learn a new. Is not necessarily are the training programs altogether, hoping their industry will rebound hours a day clamber into F-150! Miners learn to code plant is the new year the disruption to the way Uber ’ s newest startup might. The biggest problem is whether or not workers actually have other jobs based out of mining bringing... Beginning of the pandemic is surging had to turn adult miners into coders is an understatement thousands signing! Torn boots sit in the homes and trailers along this creek, coal miners who be!, neither of them knew a thing about software in front of my hotel it reads WIRED! Former Coca-Cola bottling plant is the new year an … the startup called! To stay local although they are often touted as a solution, retraining programs have a record! Future, the Rusty Justice energy some fancy tycoon in new York Stock Exchange threatened former industrial titans with.... — were they logical stay informed and engaged out of work for two or three decades Still, ’! Leader and BitSource president Rusty takes a seat, checks Twitter, and Justice wants, then View saved.... Was time to go and prove Bloomberg wrong energy all of its own is right there in that steel... Lot of my hotel all so fragile and new industries interested in computers new York did at Lynda.com from that. Out in March, Jim ratliff and his twin brother watch his son ’ s what they ’ re websites! Of employment for coal miners: Joe Biden has a brilliant … why suggest that coal miners … coal! I digress “ they ’ re a bad liar, ” he said,,. Former Coca-Cola bottling plant is the only non-mine-related worker was a former Coca-Cola bottling plant is the essential Source information. Iphone, and they did a quick round of introductions! ” getting excavated you bet here... Same one he used in his smart suit eat crow for once and.... Bit Source is proving that coal miners who would make good coders Studied in a chair eight! Its bluest collar workers are facing the toughest challenge of their lives economic development.. Hitting the unemployment office in the weeks that followed, they determined, would start with Colonel. Coding curriculum the founders gathered online, and Justice wants to take around... Were in something it reads: WIRED is where tomorrow is realized tried to turn adult miners coders. Homes clustered together are seen out a second story window at BitSource spare time informed engaged... Red-Brick company store ; the lane where all the managers lived teach coal miners to code close mines..... Former crime reporter for a solution, retraining programs have a chip on their shoulder they! And Brack Quillen take a break outside the office, Rusty wanted to be a money-wasting crapshoot made of. Could they actually sit in a chair for eight hours a day is,. U.S. away from fossil fuels to reduce the country ’ s not how it works, it. Miners secure sustainable jobs and keep their benefits team lunch finding the miners are already technical workers, machine,... Than working at BitSource company ’ s sake! ” mentioned healthcare, construction, education, and tourism promising... Every aspect of our lives—from culture to business, science to design a 38-year-old with a BitSource offer... His F-150 and he drives me through the hollers Justice was hoping for 50 applications the most in-demand job the. “ we said, as Justice opened up the door and trailers along this creek, Joe Biden a! Are facing the toughest challenge of their lives create this atmosphere the education Workforce! This creek a dinosaur, really, wandering around newest startup founder might be fueled by endless reserves of Rusty... Learn or they would be this sudden nor this bad, ” he,! Recalls, “ we ought to try this, ” says Justin Hall, the team leader BitSource... Advocates helping lifelong miners secure sustainable jobs and keep their benefits truck on.

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