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SIC to Receive Additional Grant Funding for Coal Mine Training Facility

January 8, 2015

Southeastern Illinois College received word that additional grant dollars for a mine safety complex were recently approved by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) through the Coal Competitiveness Grant.

The original grant was for $220,000 but was modified to include an additional $160,000 for the project. College administrators said it was a real team effort to secure these additional funds.

“The original funding just didn’t cover all that was needed to construct the specialized facility needed for a simulated coal mine,” said SIC President, Dr. Jonah Rice. “These additional funds will help us in our partnership program with Illinois Eastern Colleges to provide practical, state-of-the art training for regional coal miners.”

Rice said it’s always better to work together than apart in efforts such as this one.

“Collaboration is the real secret to getting grants these days, and securing such grants results in new dollars being brought into the area—a major emphasis of our advancement efforts at SIC,” said Rice.

More than 1,000 miners go through mine training programs at SIC each year, between 300 and 500 of them being new to coal mining.

"This new facility will allow SIC to enhance safety training that is currently provided to local and regional mines by broadening the scope of safety-related simulated scenarios in a more realistic environment," stated Dr. Karen Weiss, Dean for Career and Technical Education and Title III Project Director. "Currently, we serve the majority of the local mines and several regional mines into Kentucky and Indiana through our fire brigade training, and with this new training facility and our partnership with IECC, we look forward to expanding training opportunities with additional mines in the region."

The new building will be housed on the north side of campus adjacent to the burn tunnel and the fire science outdoor classroom, also used for coal mine training. Anticipated completion of the project is fall of this year.

For information on coal mining technology classes, visit www.sic.edu/coal or call Shannon Sneed at 618-252-5400 x2360.

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