Learning about coal, the jobs of ‘Hidden America’

miner hat.JPGToday, Tom Weber spoke with Jeanne Marie Laskas, who immersed herself in jobs most Americans are not aware of or don’t realize their contribution to making our country work. Being from Pennsylvania, she fittingly immersed herself into the role of a coal miner.

I was interested in what she had to say because my friends and I ventured to Scranton, Pa. earlier this month. Scranton was home to one of the largest areas of anthracite coal mining. We took some time to go on a coal mining tour to learn more about the community and industry that drove it. We came away learning some startling facts and felt appreciative of those who worked the mines and risk their lives.

A few photos from our tour and explanations of some working conditions can be found here. You can read my friend’s more detailed write-up here.

I highly doubt miners had a smile like mine going to and from work. However, I’m glad this particular mine was able to re-work itself to be a learning experience so we might all better understand and appreciate these “hidden workers”.

-Meggan Ellingboe, assistant producer