A local town has been struck with plenty of hardship, but now they may be getting the break they need.
For the first time in quite awhile, there’s optimism about the coal industry.
There’s hope in Dugger for a way of life that dates back for centuries.
Bear Run Mine has a workforce of approximately 540 skilled workers and operates 24 hours per day, six days a week, year-round.
And with the whisper of jobs being filled, residents have high hopes for their town.
“They are doing some hiring I heard,” says Bill Pirtle. “They’ll be here when I’m gone.”
In a town that’s been hard-pressed for years, by losing a school, but regaining it through charter, laying off hundreds of jobs at the coal mine, and more.
Dugger is still fighting.
“Coal mining goes way back here in Dugger,” says Kyle Kirschner. “And it affects a lot of families and they’re happy about it.”
Under the new Trump administration, the GOP pushed through H.J. Resolution 38.
It does away with President Obama’s Stream Protection Rule.
In this part of Indiana that’s a good thing and seen as a step towards saving coal jobs in the Hoosier state.
“It’s hard to get the hope out of people around here,” says Kirschner. “We always hold on to that hope and bear run coming back just brings back a lot of extra hope.”
It’s not only the job opportunities that has residents happy about the developments.
“We need the tax base real bad,” says Pirtle. “And between them and Hoosier Energy, it’s probably the biggest in Sullivan County that we have.”
Residents say that this is just one way to revitalize the town that’s lost so much and their hope for continuing on is strong.
“It affects everybody,” says Pirtle. “I mean, with the mine’s a-going, it’s going to help a bunch and the more there are, the better off we are, ya know?”
According to their website, Bear Run Mine annually will inject more than $165 million into the regional economy, which represents an implied economic benefit of about $600 million dollars.
Residents say they are thankful and hopeful for the opportunity to continue to make progress.
The number of open positions have been filled at this time.
Due to the abundance of qualified workers in the area.