It was a packed house on Thursday, as the community, state, county, and village officials gathered for the unveiling of a new mine safety training center.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer said this project started four years ago.
Now, it’s finally come to fruition.
“Several years ago, we were thinking about moving this training center, but the Harrison County County Improvement Corporation and Cadiz CIC really stepped up to the plate,” Zehringer said
Officials expect the new training facility to bring more jobs and more people to the area, which Harrison County Commissioner Dale Norris said will be a huge help for local businesses.
“This is big thing because of what’s happened in our county over the last 5-7 years. It’s a big plus,” Norris said.
The new facility features classrooms, storage and a simulation center.
Former miner John Jones believes the center is crucial.
John spent 20 years in the mines and remembers the danger of possible explosions, fires, and cave-ins.
He said he’s happy area workers have a facility where they can train to save lives.
“Everything that goes on in this area takes a lot of safety. It doesn’t matter whether you’re farming, truck driving, working underground, or working on top of the ground. Safety has to be number 1,” Jones said.
Officials confirm Harrison County typically trains anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 miners each year.
They’re hoping that number increases with the new center.
“Harrison County is going to be the hub of safety training, not only for the state of Ohio, but for the tri-state area. We’ll have a lot of miners who will come from all over. They’ll spend a lot of money in the towns eating here, staying here, and getting well trained,” Zehringer said.
The training facility is not just for miners though.
Officials told 7News that local firefighters, paramedics, police and others can use the building for their own drills and training scenarios.