Booth Energy Group filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN Notice) with the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training announcing layoffs in Martin, Johnson, and Floyd counties. The move eliminates 217 positions and are expected to take place on September 30.
The layoffs will take place at The Matrix Mine in Debord, Kentucky; the Eagle #25 mine in Floyd County; the Pinnacle Processing Plant in Debord; CT trucking and CT shop operations in Debord; the Collins Creek contract and reclamation in Debord; and the Marco Mine Supply facility in Debord.
The terminations are permanent and there are no bumping rights. Some of the jettisoned employees may be able to retain employment or work for an affiliate, but company officials did not state in the filing how many.
Booth Energy is a private coal mining company with both underground and surface mines. The company’s primary mines are located in the central Appalachia coal fields of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia.
The Booth Energy Group produces and ships 7.0-million tons annually to domestic and export markets. The company markets its coal to various utilities, including DTE Energy Co (NYSE:DTE); Progress Energy, Inc.; American Electric Power Company Inc (NYSE:AEP), Virginia Electric & Power Co. (NYSE:VEL-E.CL); and Georgia Power Company (NYSE:GPE-A).
Before the announcing layoffs that impact more than 15% of its workforce, Booth Energy employed 1,400 members.
The layoffs at Booth Energy continue the trend of growing unemployment in the “Bluegrass State.” According to the most recent information, the unemployment rate has increased in 96 of Kentucky’s 120 counties between June 2016 and June 2017.
State officials at the Office of Employment and Training say the unemployment rate fell in 20 counties and stayed the same in four. Or, put another way, unemployment fell or remained stagnant in 84% of the counties in Kentucky.
At 5.1%, the unemployment rate in Kentucky is higher than the rest of the country at 4.4%. The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are, for the most part, on par with the national average: Woodford County at 3.8%, Shelby County at 4.2%, and Oldham and Spencer Counties at 4.3%.
But the counties with the highest unemployment rates tower over the national average. Magoffin County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 18%, followed by Leslie County at 12.2%, Elliott County at 11.8%, Letcher County at 11.4%, and Harlan County at 11.2%.
“Booth Energy Plant Closing – WARN Act Notice,” Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, last accessed August 4, 2017.
“Welcome to Booth Energy,” Booth Energy, last accessed August 4, 2017.
“Kentucky,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, last accessed August 4, 2017.