Top 5 Reasons Companies are Considering the Coal Mining Workforce of East Kentucky

25 Sep 2018

Kentucky is home to 12,000 skilled workers looking for work. Companies looking to grow can open a location in Kentucky and within days, have thousands of job applicants ready to work, with the skills necessary to do so. This represents a significant shift for companies who are accustomed to needing to invest in workforce attraction just to find one or two qualified candidates. In East Kentucky, it is common to have hundreds of applicants who meet a company’s exact hiring criteria. This allows companies to scale quickly and to meet production demands dictated by company growth.

Here are five additional reasons companies are actively considering the coal mining workforce of East Kentucky.

#1 Low cost of labor

Companies can reduce their payroll cost by locating in East Kentucky where the average hourly wage is $17.53 – 20 percent lower than the national average of $21.73.

#2 Willingness to commute

The East Kentucky workforce is willing to commute more than 45 minutes one way for a good paying job. With minimal traffic congestion, this represents a willingness to drive in from surrounding communities, giving employers a wider labor pool to hire from.

#3 Employers are satisfied

80 percent of surveyed employers said they were satisfied or very satisfied when asked about the quality and efficiency of their workforce. Their satisfaction gives other businesses confidence in their ability to hire qualified employees.

#4 KY is a Right to Work state

Companies can negotiate directly with employees, offering wage and benefits packages without the need to go through a union for approval. This can represent a significant cost and time savings while eliminating the risk associated with potential labor strikes.

#5 Hard-working workforce

Many of the workers in East Kentucky were raised on farms or started a mining career early. These industries demand non-stop commitment, are physically taxing, and involve long hours. As a result, the workforce here knows what it means to put in a hard day’s work. They are likely to come in early, stay late and do what needs to be done to succeed. This was perfectly evident when a local company, Silverliner, began hiring welders. Before starting, welders had to complete a rigorous training program, something most new employees completed in the evening after working all day. The demands of the program were so rigorous that the average trainee lost twenty pounds, yet all are happy to have their new position.

Consider East Kentucky

Companies are encouraged to consider relocating to East Kentucky or opening a branch here. For anyone who is currently suffering from a workforce shortage, or who knows they need to scale up, the ability to choose qualified employees from thousands of applicants is a strategic advantage. There are also workforce training programs and incentives available to assist qualifying companies. To learn more about these options or to schedule a tour of East Kentucky contact Chuck Sexton, CEO of One East Kentucky by emailing