Ingram Barge Company in Paducah is trying to recruit laid off coal miners for a number of positions, including deckhands, cooks, engineers, and even captains on some of its 150 barges.
Leonard Reiner, 53, says he has been a coal miner for most of his life, but that changed in January when he was given a pink slip.
"It was real devastating,” Reiner said. “You've just got to start looking for something else."
An experienced heavy equipment operator, Reiner picked up work wherever he could, but hasn’t been able to lock down full-time work.
"It's been really hard to find a job around here,” Reiner said. “Most everything isn't doing too well as far as being able to make a living."
In Saline County, Illinois, alone, hundreds of miners have been laid off from mines over the past calendar year, which is why Brian Marple of Ingram Barge is trying to step in and put the miners back to work.
"We have a lot of people that are retiring,” Marple said. “We are always looking for good people that can come in, and do the work, and put up with the time away from home. Coal miners like good, stable work just like everyone else."
"What it's all about is being able to survive and have some luxuries in life,” Reiner said. “You work hard, and you would like to have a retirement and something to show for it. It's really easy to lose what you've got."
With a wide variety of positions available, Marple says Ingram Barge will hire as many qualified workers as he can find.
The starting wage for an entry-level deckhand is $158 per day, with a raise after 90 days.
If you are interested in applying at Ingram Barge click here.
100 Television Lane
Paducah, KY 42003