October event to celebrate state’s mining enterprise

Nominations being accepted for “Because of You” awards

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – This fall, representatives of West Virginia’s mining industry will gather at the 2012 Miners’ Celebration to recognize everyone who contributes to the enterprise.

The conference will be held Oct. 4-5 at Tamarack in Beckley.

“West Virginia’s mining industry depends upon thousands of individuals in many different roles,” said Dr. Tony Szwilski, chairman of the conference planning committee and director of Marshall University’s Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences. “Every one of these people—whether they are miners, safety engineers, environmental professionals, equipment suppliers, community leaders or teachers—contributes to each ton of coal produced.

“It is because of them the mining industry is successful. This event is intended to honor and recognize the contributions of everyone involved in what we call our state’s mining ‘ecosystem.’”

Szwilski said the program will kick off with registration and a reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. At the reception, the Coal Heritage Highway Authority/National Coal Heritage Area will present several awards including the Nick Joe Rahall Award for Outstanding Achievements in Coal Heritage Preservation, the Coal Heritage Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Coal Heritage Marketing Award and the Coal Heritage Research and Documentation Award.

On Friday, Oct. 5, the program will continue with a full day of presentations focusing on all aspects of the mining industry. In addition, “Because of You” awards in more than a dozen categories will be presented to honor miners, engineers, safety and environmental professionals, community leaders, manufacturers, suppliers and educators for their contributions to the mining industry in West Virginia. Nominations for the awards are being accepted through June 1.

The Miners’ Celebration is being presented by the Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences at Marshall University; National Coal Heritage Area; United Mine Workers of America; West Virginia Coal Association; and West Virginia Division of Energy, Office of Coalfield Community Development.

The cost of the conference is $100. Registration is open through Sept. 21.

For more information about the conference or how to nominate someone for the “Because of You” awards, or to register online, visit www.marshall.edu/cegas.

Contact:  Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304.746.1964