Appalachian Software Training Program Sued

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PITTSBURGH (AP) – Some people who took classes intended to turn unemployed Appalachian coal miners and others into computer software technicians have sued, saying they didn’t get promised paid apprenticeships and jobs.

The complaint in West Virginia’s Raleigh County Circuit Court proposes class-action damages for everyone who lost months of their time and other employment possibilities since January 2016, as well as punitive damages.

The suit names two plaintiffs. Attorney Andrew Taylor says there are others.

Operators of the nonprofit Mined Minds Foundation in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, say they have trained about 50 people in West Virginia and 35 in Pennsylvania in programming techniques and software development.

Jonathan Graham, one of the principals, says students paid no tuition or fees, 41 completed the training, 16 work for Mined Minds and several found other jobs.