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CHAPMANVILLE - A husband and wife duo who saw an opportunity to start a boot camp training program teaching software development to unemployed workers will make a stop in Chapmanville on Friday.

Mined Minds co-founder Jonathan Graham and his wife, Amanda Launcher, will be at Chapmanville Regional High School before the start of Friday's Logan and Chapmanville boys basketball contest.

Graham and Launcher will be set up in the commons area at CRHS to provide information about free software development and potential training in Logan County.

"We are looking to see if there is a critical interest in Logan County to make this work," Graham said. "We want people to hear what we have to offer, and we want to see if this is something that they would like to do."

It's not the first time the couple, originally from Chicago but now living in Greene County, Pennsylvania, has visited West Virginia.

Graham says U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin heard about his work with laid-off coal miners in Pennsylvania and invited him to a job fair in West Virginia.

"That was a couple of years ago, and it got us inspired to extend our services in West Virginia," Graham said. "We have been offering services in the Charleston area, and we feel Logan would be a great place to expand given the declining coal industry."

Mined Minds offers training in the technology industry at no cost, thanks to a grant obtained by WorkForce West Virginia.

"It is a 32-week program that allows them to obtain the skills, fundamentals of software developments and practical application to start a career in the tech field as a software developer," Graham said. "There is no cost to the individual, training is free and they need to be actively involved in learning."

Graham said Friday will be a great opportunity to get the word out to people.

"Great potential for people who are interested and motivated to get those skills to get a great alternative career going," Graham said. "There is a lot of opportunity for careers in software development."

Mined Minds is currently working on securing a site for Logan County.

"We are currently looking at a few places," Graham said. "We are finding more and more places that are interested in working with individuals and groups within West Virginia and the surrounding areas."

Bill Lusk is a news and sports reporter for the Logan Banner and can be reached at 304-752-6950.

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