Federal and state officials were on hand Friday in Welch to dedicate the new federal prison facility. Located on former surface mined land, the prison will employ an estimated 400 people when fully staffed. It is located in the McDowell County industrial park, which is also part of the same restored surface mined site.

The dedication of this facility comes just weeks after the groundbreaking for the Bechtel Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree facility in Fayette County, also on a restored mined lands.

These two developments are just a couple of the important uses former surface mines have been put to across West Virginia.  In fact, a study just released by the West Virginia Department of Commerce and the Office of Coalfields Development shows more than 13,000 jobs have been created across the state on former surface mine land.  See full-text of a recent story in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph below.

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