As coal miners, we were part of the coal industry.

We built factories, ran mines, and made steel, but we were also part of something bigger.

For more than a century, our town of Coal City has been synonymous with coal and coal workers, who have fought for better wages, benefits, and health care.

But after the recession hit, the industry’s demise became more clear than ever.

We’ve seen miners laid off, coal jobs go to other states, and coal towns turn their backs on the industry.

Now, as a result of the recession, a new generation of coal miners is coming into town to build new homes and businesses.

We asked a few people in the area what their hopes are for the future of coal mining and manufacturing.

We’ll be back with more interviews in the coming weeks, as the community struggles to get back on the right track.

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