Economic development groups in Perry County recently conducted a study and discovered that the former coal miners' skills in areas like hydraulics, mechanics and electrical engineering -- would be well-suited for other industries.

"Their skills can easily be transferred to aerospace and other manufacturing, for instance," said Kathy Walker, director of the HAAS eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute in Paintsville, Kentucky. "We're potentially sitting on a labor gold mine here."

Last year, more than a third of Kentucky's total exports were aerospace products and parts, like civilian aircraft, engines and aircraft landing and braking systems.

How this Kentucky coal town is trying to bring its economy back to life

Mary Wilson's picture

Kentucky coal town !

We lived in Hazard, which is the County Seat of Perry county for 11 years...66 to 77. I am thrilled that new leaders have created the idea of NEW SAFE industries and jobs with good wages and benefits. The rest of 'coal country' should pay attention to their innovative work to create good jobs. I miss all the friends we left there...when we moved to West Virginia in 77. Congratulations to Kathy Walker and her Team !

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