Southern Coal Corp. is recalling several hundred laid-off miners in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia and plans to hire 650 new workers. Roanoke-based Southern Coal announced Tuesday that it has entered into a multi-year contract to supply coal to American Electric Power. The contract will allow it to re-start mines idled earlier this year and to save 500 jobs.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear hailed the announcement as good news for workers and the state's economy.
"Today's announcement is a victory for the hard-working men and women and their families in the coal counties of Kentucky. The number of jobs saved and created by this multi-year agreement will benefit our region for generations to come," Beshear said.
Southern Coal also has operations in Alabama and Tennessee. The company said it expects to produce nine million tons of coal in 2013.