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Resource fair set for miners

Agencies, NIC, bank respond to Lucky Friday closure

A yearlong closure of the Lucky Friday Mine could reduce income in the Silver Valley by more than $25 million, state officials said.

The figure represents lost wages and the multiplier effect of that money being spent in the community.

Representatives of organizations with resources to help workers affected by the mine’s closure will be at a community resource fair Thursday in Wallace.

“This is an opportunity for these hundreds of workers and their families to meet with people who can help them deal with the personal and family setbacks the unexpected shutdown … will have on them,” said Sara Lamson, supervisor of the Idaho Department of Labor’s Silver Valley office.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration shut down the Lucky Friday’s main shaft until repairs are made. Hecla Mining Co., which operates the mine, expects the process to take 12 months.

The fair runs from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Wallace Junior/Senior High School, 1 Miners Alley in Wallace.

Department of Labor consultants can determine eligibility for special training programs and help people with job searches, interviewing skills and résumé development.

Officials from North Idaho College will be available to answer questions about education and training opportunities, and representatives from Panhandle State Bank can offer help with financial issues. Also participating will be staff from the state Department of Health and Welfare, Community Action Program, Shoshone County Free Health Clinic and other community agencies.