W.Va. Lawmakers Focus On Coal Downturn
McDowell was once the heart of the West Virginia coalfields, and nearly 100,000 people lived there in the 1950s when machines began replacing miners. Its population has since dwindled to 22,100. Brown said a major challenge to Reconnecting McDowell has been sufficient training and skills among its working-age adults. Finding people who can pass drugs tests has been another, Brown said.
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