Tradition of mine training continues at CNCC

PRESS RELEASE | Special to the Herald Times

RBC |As many training programs shift online, the local college continues the tradition of in-person mine training. New and experienced miners are among student arriving to campus this fall. 

Every month, Colorado Northwestern Community College offers training for new surface miner, new underground miners and annual refresher classes required for both mining types. 

The new surface miner class is a 1.0 credit class requiring three days to complete. 

Students gain the basic knowledge of surface coal, metal and nonmetal mining practices according to the laws and rules set forth in federal law. 

“Each new student learns all the basic concepts in surface mining from highwall safety and working around large mining equipment to fighting a fire,” said CNCC Instructor Dwaine Chesser. “When the student completes the class they are given a certification that can be used all across the country in any mining community.”

The underground mining class builds upon the skills and knowledge developed in the surface mining class. It is four days long.  

“During the extra day miners gain an understanding of the world of underground mining in coal, metal, and nonmetal mines,” Chesser said.  “The student will also gain the basic concepts in roof and rib control of ventilation.”

These classes must be completed by new miners. Experienced miners must maintain their safety certifications by taking an annual refresher class.

The refresher course is condensed into one day and worth .5 credits. 

“We talk about the year prior accidents and fatalities that do happen in mining. We also go over any new changes in mining with new laws and updates on what is going on in the mining community,” Chesser said. 

Being informed of the updates and changes in mining are important in keeping miners safe. 

“My goal, and that of every miner, is to come home safe to their families,” Chesser said.

To learn more and register for a class contact Carol Sharp by 970-824-1101 or email