Repurposing skills: SilverLiner puts laid-off coal miners back to work

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - SilverLiner is a tanker truck manufacturing facility new to Eastern Kentucky.

They are utilizing the skills laid off coal miners have with another hands-on job that pays well.

"So once I got laid off you know, it's kind of rough in this area to find good paying work," said laid-off coal miner Chris Compton.

Compton says after 23 years in the business, he thought he needed to move away to find a good job.

"I came across and seen the advertisement of the SilverLiner. So, you know, I went online and put in an application," recalled Compton.

Little did he know, SilverLiner in Pike County would put his skills to use.

"Where I came from the coal industry, I kind of had a lot of you know, experience in welding," said Compton.

Ty Wright has worked around mining equipment for more than 10 years.

"I come from the dump body side from Logan Corp. Working on dump bodies. SilverLiner was something new and I was looking for something I can retire from," Wright recalled.

After the decline of the coal industry, he knew he wanted to broaden his skills but without leaving his family behind.

"Chris has plans to make this place grow and make it an awesome job for Eastern Kentucky, something we don't have," explained Wright.

The owner of SilverLiner, Chris Tomlinson, says Eastern Kentucky is the perfect fit for his business.

"That is a quality of Eastern Kentucky. We don't mind to put the hard work and the effort out to get the job done to go the extra mile," said Tomlinson.

The Betsy Layne native says all too often, he sees families split up due to work.

He hopes to change that.

"Whatever little bit of help that we can bring those families back together, that's our number one purpose," Tomlinson pointed out.

SilverLiner will be moving to their permanent manufacturing facility early next year.

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