Report says coal industry needs to build workforce

Laramie, WY – A new report says for the coal industry to thrive into the future, it has to build its workforce. The report from the National Commission on Energy Policy says the coal industry will need more than 64,000 new workers by the year 2030.

Sasha Mackler with the Commission says many energy workers are nearing retirement, and some young people don't see the coal industry as an attractive line of work. "It just has not been historically a high-growth industry," Mackler said, "and it's actually a very difficult work environment, and so there's not a lot of people moving into this sector, and there tends to be people leaving this industry."

Mackler says to draw in more young people, the coal industry needs to boost its image. He says companies should reduce their environmental impacts and develop strong safety practices. Mackler says it's also important for government and industry to expand training and education opportunities in coal.