Closing of the Century mine in June; More than 100 jobs to lose | News, Sports, Jobs

picture by: Jennifer Compston Strough

A tractor-trailer waits to be loaded with coal from Century Mine, which is scheduled to close in June. The loading dump at the mine is located along Ohio 148 outside of Beallsville.

BEALLSVILLE — More than 100 local residents will lose their jobs when the Century Mine closes in June.

Belmont County Coal Resources Inc. — a subsidiary of American Consolidated Natural Resources, formed following the bankruptcy of Murray Energy Corp. — filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the Ohio Department of Employment and Family Services on April 27. non-unionized employees will be affected by the layoffs. The WARN advisory goes into effect on June 15.

“The layoffs will take place on June 15 or in the next two weeks. This layoff will be permanent,” wrote David Cutlip, general manager of Belmont County Coal Resources Inc., in a notification to Beth A. Brannigan, head of the training program’s Employment Office with Ohio Workforce Development. “All affected employees have been informed that their layoff will be permanent. … There will be no bumping rights for affected employees who are not represented by a union.

Those who will lose their jobs at the Beallsville operation include workers in positions ranging from master electrician to safety and dispatch, surface operators, belt coordinator, shift supervisors, belt supervisors, human resources employees, a safety manager and a safety inspector.

An employee who answered a call to ACNR headquarters provided an email address for media inquiries. Officials did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment sent to that email address on Wednesday.

Jeff Felton, director of the Belmont County Department of Employment and Family Services, said he didn’t hear about the WARN notice until Wednesday. But he said his office was already working to connect job seekers to opportunities.

“We already have a job fair scheduled for May 19 at the mall (Ohio Valley). It will be in person,” Felton said, adding that at least 29 employers and agencies as well as training providers will participate. “It would be one of the first places I would stop.”

Felton said there is a widespread need among employers nationwide and many will be looking for job seekers.

“That’s why they’re here. They need people,” he said.

Felton added that the Ohio Means Jobs office at 302 Walnut St., Martins Ferry, is the place to go for job opportunities.

“I hadn’t heard anything about (the layoffs), not at all, this is the first one,” said Mike Schlanz, workforce supervisor at Ohio Means Jobs, adding that Ohio Means Jobs had worked with companies and employees during layoffs.

Felton said the state would stage a rapid response to coordinate employment activities. He added that his department has on-the-job training contracts with employers.

“It all depends on what people are interested in and what they’re willing to do,” Felton said.

“People can come to our office and look for a job. We can give information about job vacancies and help with that,” Schlanz said.

Monroe County DJFS Director Jeanette Schwall said her office has heard of the WARN advisory, but she said it could primarily affect workers in Belmont County, because that’s where the mine.

“We don’t yet know how many of those (layoffs) might still be Monroe County residents,” Schwall said.

She said that in general, if layoffs in a county are significant, the state can provide funds to conduct rapid response activity.

“It all depends on the numbers. Otherwise, we would personally contact those who would be affected and let them know what kind of services might be available to them,” she said. “It’s a process, and sometimes it takes a bit of time to get a sense of the situation and try to move on to the next steps.”

Bill Teets, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Employment and Family Services, released a statement regarding the loss of the mine.

“We have what we call rapid response teams who are available to help in these situations. Our workforce specialist who covers your area contacts the employer as well as local workforce development people,” he said, adding that traditional rapid response services will be offered, including an initial employer meeting to discuss available and developing state and local services. a re-employment strategy and a service delivery plan.

Affected workers will also learn about tools to help them during their layoff, how to file for unemployment benefits, and receive an introduction to the OhioMeansJobs Centers and Affected workers will also be assessed to determine the range of skills, abilities and future plans.

OhioMeansJobs centers can be reached at for Belmont County residents and at for Monroe County residents. General information about Ohio Means Employment Centers is available at

Century Mine was temporarily inactive in 2015 with 425 of its then 650 workers furloughed for two weeks. This was before Murray Energy Corp. did not file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2019. The company emerged from bankruptcy nearly a year later, becoming ACNR.

According to its website, ACNR is now the largest underground coal mining company in the country. It and its subsidiaries employ nearly 5,000 people at its nine active coal mines in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Utah, Kentucky and Alabama.

The company controls over 4 billion tons of coal reserves with production exceeding 49 million tons of coal per year. The vast majority of its holdings are thermal coal operations, meaning coal is burned to create electricity. Its Alabama operation is a metallurgical coal complex, which provides coal for the manufacture of steel and metal products.

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