“The Mining Training and Technology Center trains America’s next generation of coal miners and mine rescue teams,” Rep. Snyder said. “The funding release is crucial not only to coal-rich southwestern Pennsylvania, but also to an industry that has been, and will remain, crucial to the nation’s industrial strength.”

The MTTC was built 16 years ago on 65 acres in Prosperity, using a $4 million state grant, and has already trained thousands of miners in mine safety skills, including first aid, CPR, ventilation and mine evacuation.

The facility features a simulated coal mine, consisting of artificial blocks of coal that replicate the physical layout and conditions of an underground mine, inside a 40,000-sq-ft building.

Each graduate receives the requisite 40-hour Mine Safety and Health Administration training certificate, a CPR card, a certificate of completion from the school and a Penn State University certificate that will show potential employers the graduate is qualified to work in an underground mine.