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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, | Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board: Aleta Spicer,

Governor Northam Announces Support for Virginia’s Blackjewel LLC Workers

Approximately 450 Southwest Virginia workers impacted by sudden closure

RICHMOND—Today, Governor Northam announced additional support programs for former employees of Blackjewel LLC, a West Virginia-based a coal mining operation that abruptly declared bankruptcy on July 1. Prior to its closure, the company had employed approximately 1,700 workers across Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Kentucky, with over 450 coal miners and other workers based in Southwest Virginia.

“I am deeply concerned by the sudden closure of Blackjewel LLC and the significant impact it will have on over 450 hardworking Virginians and their families,” said Governor Northam. “I have directed my administration to provide additional resources and support for displaced employees, and my team continues to closely monitor the situation. We stand ready to assist in any way possible.”

Governor Northam has directed the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the standard week-long waiting period for unemployment benefits for affected employees, and has authorized overtime pay for Virginia Career Works representatives helping to connect displaced workers with job training programs and new career opportunities. Additional community support programs and information sessions will be announced on the Virginia Employment Commission website and regional Virginia Career Works websites in the coming days.   

Impacted employees of Blackjewel LLC can file for unemployment benefits and access additional support online here, by calling the Virginia Employment Commissions’ customer contact center at (866) 832-2363, or by visiting a local Virginia Career Works Center. To find a local Virginia Career Works Center, visit the Virginia Employment Commission website.

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