The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced it has allocated more than $8.3 million in health and safety training grants for fiscal year 2009, up from $8.2 million last year.

“Comprehensive education and training for miners is a sound investment,” said Dr. Gregory R. Wagner, MSHA’s deputy assistant secretary for policy. “At the Department of Labor, our mantra is ‘good jobs for everyone.’ A good job is a safe job, and these grants will enable participating states to work toward a goal that we all share—ensuring every miner returns home safely at the end of every working shift.”

Grantees will use the funds to provide federally mandated training to miners. The grants cover training and retraining of miners working at surface and underground coal and metal and nonmetal mines, including miners engaged in shell dredging or employed at surface stone, sand and gravel mining operations.

Training grant funds are being awarded to 47 states and the Navajo Nation. States applied for the grants, which are administered by state mine inspectors’ offices, state departments of labor, and state-supported colleges and universities. Each recipient tailors the program to its miners’ individual needs and provides technical assistance.