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VIII MANPOWER AND TRAINING Total 1985 manpower requirements for the coal industry are estimated to be as high as 289,000 personnelâ approximately 246,000 hourly personnel and 43,000 salaried personnel (Table 8)âand 90,000 new personnel will be required between 1976 and 1985. Given the 1975 employment of 169,000 this projection assumes a 160-roillion-ton increase (requiring 65,000 employees) in underground production and a 255-million-ton increase (requiring 25,000 employees) in western surface mine production. Thus, by 1985, the total work force in the bituminous industry will have grown by about 71 percent.1 Using a conservative estimate of annual industry losses due to retirements, deaths, and turnover of 2-1/2 percent, total replacements needed for the 1975-1985 period will be 62,000 because of attrition plus the 90,000 new personnel or a total of 152,000. The majority of these personnel will be inexperienced, and it will be a substantial challenge to attract and hold them in the coal mining industry. The Panel believes that high school graduates and those with higher degrees will be required in the coal mining industry. In 1970, several companies pointed out that their new employees with post high-school education increased from 25 to 33 percent in 5 years. The average hourly earnings in coal mining have led other industries by substantial margins over the years, and have contributed to increased interest in coal industry employment.2 The capital investment required per individual miner ranges from $100,000 to $150,000. Further, the annual cost of maintaining an individual worker including payroll, training, and benefits totals approximately $20,000 per year. A. LABOR DEVELOPMENTS The Bituminous Coal Operations' Association (BCOA), which represents between 65 and 70 percent of the coal production in the nation, has wage contracts with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). Labor contracts are signed every three years in an attempt to provide continuity and 55
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stability to the industry, but wildcat strikes have marred this stability in recent years. The number of man-days that have been lost in 1976 is 300 percent greater than the 590,00 man-days lost in 1970. A training program in mining health and safety has been made a part of the current contract and requires a 90-day training program for new workers. This could prove beneficial in employee motivation and accident reduction as well as in the resolution of labor-management problems. During the 1950s and 1960s, the number of young mining engineering graduates in the coal industry dwindled, and a new generation of trained hourly personnel also was lost. Thus, a reservoir of management and worker talent does not exist today, and because of such things as the adverse publicity resulting from mining disasters, public opinion generally is unfavorable toward underground mining as a vocation or profession. It is highly desirable that the public image of the industry and its personnel be upgraded as much as possible. B. MINING MANAGEMENT, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGIST NEEDS Engineers represented 2.32 percent of total mining industry personnel in 1960 and 3.23 percent in 1970, and it is projected that during the next decade the requirement for coal mining engineers will increase at approximately the same rate as coal production. The number of mining engineers graduating in 1975 was just over 350, a number that could not meet the demand, and the deficiency was met by attracting engineers from other fields. It is believed, however, that competition for engineering graduates may make this approach difficult as the economy strengthens. The facilities and faculty of mining engineering departments are strained to train the current enrollment, and the national energy plan for increasing coal production should give attention to strengthening the educational capabilities at mining engineering schools. Towards this end, the Panel endorses the 1969 recommendations of the National Research Council Panel on Mining:3 1. Existing mining engineering programs of the nation should be given increased industrial support as well as long-term federal support in irining engineering education and research. 2. The federal government should mount an increased effort to support mineral industry education throughout the nation with emphasis on mining engineering. 57
3. State tuition subsidies should be used by those states without mining engineering programs to provide such education to their residents. 4. A public relations effort, designed to improve the public understanding of mining engineering and the mining industry, should be made. 5. Professional societies, especially the AIME, should expand current efforts to publish texts, reference books, and mining abstracts in cooperation with the mining schools, industry, and the federal government. While these recommendations deal primarily with coal and not with the remainder of the mining industry, the Panel believes that the nation shortly will be confronted with growing shortages of a variety of mineral raw materials that could be as critical as those encountered in the energy area. It is difficult to estimate the total mining engineering needs of the nation. One analysis places the requirement for new graduates at less than 900 per year.* Others have expressed the view that in excess of 1,800 graduates per year will be required during the next 10 years and beyond for the coal mining and metallic and nonmetallic mining industries.* Table 9s shows the fluctuation of mining engineering graduates over the past 20 years and indicates the need for stabilizing the funding of mining schools. It is apparent that substantially more graduate mining engineers (balanced between those with Master of Science and those with Doctor of Philosophy degrees) are required if research, teaching, engineering, operating, management. *Total manpower in the coal industry for 1976 was 208,000 and the annual production was 678,685,000 tons, or 3,263 annual tons/man. If this same ratio is used for the 1,200,000,000 tons of expected production in 1985, the manpower requirement is 368,000. The required engineering staff would be 12,880, based on 3.5 percent of total manpower as the engineering requirement. Of the 12,880 required, 6,700 are presently in the industry, leaving 6,180 to be supplied. During 1977, 500 new graduates entered the industry, resulting in a net requirement of approximately 5,600 for 1985. Thus, for the next 8 years an average of 700 new mining engineers would be required by the coal industry. Historically, the non-coal segment of the mining industry can absorb approximately 200 new graduates annually. Therefore, the total annual requireirent for new graduates should not exceed 900 per year. The engineering neds may be even less if the manpower needs are only 289,000 as given in Table 8. 58
TABLE 9 Mining Engineering Graduates. 1956 - 1978 Mining Engineering Graduates Academic Year B.S. M.S. Ph.D. 1956-1957 231 1957-1958 240 Data Not 1958-1959 239 Avai Table 1959-1960 242 * 1960-1961 220 1961-1962 193 1962-1963 180 1963-1964 144 21 4 1964-1965 146 29 6 1965-1966 138 1966-1967 112 24 7 1967-1968 95 35 7 1968-1969 137 1969-1970 124 19 10 1970-1971 136 20 15 1971-1972 139 25 17 1972-1973 159 1973-1974 210 32 7 1974-1975 318 46 6 1975-1976 456 127 26 Source: Planje, T. J., "Statement to the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, U.S. Senate, The Minerals, Materials and Fuels Subcommittee on Senate Bill S-62," Congressional Record, November 4, 1975. 59
and government needs are to be filled. It is estimated that approximately 100 Master of Science degrees and 50 Doctor of Philosophy degrees in mining engineering should be awarded each year to fill requirements in this important field, and substantial aid is necessary to finance educational programs for persons seeking graduate degrees. The mining industry also will require a substantial number of mining technologists to supplement and support the mining engineering staffs. Training programs for mining technologists are in their infancy, but initiation of this relatively new educational concept in technical schools, junior colleges, community colleges, and four-year institutions has been rapid. According to a survey by the Engineering Manpower Commission, the number of schools offering engineering technology programs totaled 38 in 1967 and increased to 84 in 1972; enrollment grew from 24,000 to 43,000. This is approximately 50 percent of the number of degrees in the four-year engineering programs. Given the overall situation, the Panel believes that a creative public information program should be developed and adequately funded to stimulate the interest of young Americans in pursuing a career in the coal industry. This will contribute to meeting future energy needs. REFERENCES 1. Roger M. Haynes, Manning the Coal Mines, Mining Congress Journal, (November, 1975). 2. National Coal Association, Coal Facts, 1974-1975, (Washington, D.C.: National Coal Association, 1976). 3. National Research Council, Committee on Mineral Science and Technology, Panel on Mining, Mineral Science and Technology; Coal Mining, (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1969). H. Carl E. Bagge, "Statement Before the Senate and Chair Committee, Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials, and Fuels in Conjunction with S-62, Coal Research Laboratory in Energy Research Fellowship Act," Congressional Record, November 5, 1975. 5. T. J. Planje, "Statement to the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, U.S. Senate, The Minerals, Materials and Fuels Subcommittee on Senate Bill S-62," Congressional Record, November 4, 1975. 60