"Job Aid Zones Face a New Test in Coal Country"

"HAZARD, Ky. — Joseph Nantz still looks back fondly at his job as a heavy machinery operator at the mountaintop coal mine here, helping to blast and cart away layers of rock to reveal seams of coal and then restore the rubble for a handsome $24 an hour."

"“We’ve got to get some industry other than coal in here,” said Mr. Nantz, who lost his job along with 750 other miners in summer 2012. “There’s only so many people left. The halfway smart ones are leaving.”

Drawing industry to this corner of Kentucky is once again a federal priority. This month, President Obama named the region a “promise zone,” which means it will garner renewed attention from Washington, which vowed to provide it top priority for grants and, if Congress goes along, new tax dollars as well."

Annie Lowrey reports for the New York Times January 27, 2014.

Source: NY Times, 01/29/2014