Craig resident appointed to state coal board | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig resident appointed to state coal board

Joe Moylan
Justin Fedinec comes from a long line of Colorado coal miners. His father, Geral, is a 20-plus-years veteran with Colowyo Coal Company and his mother, Carol, is a lab technician with Craig Station. Fedinec was recently recognized for his 10 years of industry service with a governor's appointment to the Colorado Coal Mine Board of Examiners. Joe Moylan

Quotable

"What I hope to do is contribute because the mining industry has been so good to me over the years with all of the certifications and the position I am in now. I just hope I can help in some way."

Justin Fedinec

Craig resident about his appointment to the Colorado Coal Mine Board of Examiners

For Justin Fedinec, being a coal miner is not simply about earning a weekly paycheck.

Mining is in his blood.

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The 31-year old father of two was born and raised in Craig, and comes from a family steeped in mining tradition.

His father, Geral, is a 20-plus-years veteran of Colowyo Coal Company and his mother, Carol, is a lab technician at Craig Station.

Fedinec was recently recognized for his 10 years of service in the industry with an appointment to the Colorado Coal Mine Board of Examiners.

"Right now, I'm just open to see what it's all about," he said. "I've got a pretty good idea already because I've been through a lot of tests with them.

"This is a great opportunity to give back to the mining industry in Colorado."

His appointment was announced Dec. 23 via a news release from Gov. John Hickenlooper, along with the appointments of 34 other people to 10 state boards.

Fedinec, who is the safety engineer for Trapper Mining, Inc., said he was recruited for the position.

"(Board member) Bill York-Feirn is an acquaintance of mine and we've gotten to know each other a little bit over the years," Fedinec said. "He called me a while back and asked if I'd be interested."

Fedinec was at the top of a short list of candidates, York-Feirn said.

"I was familiar with his qualifications, but coming onto a board like this one requires a lot more than just know how," York-Feirn said. "Justin came highly recommended to me because of his ability to work with and get along with others."

The Coal Mine Board of Examiners is the state body that prepares and conducts examinations for all applicants to coal mine positions that require certification under federal law.

The board issues certificates to those who qualify and provides assistance in developing curricula for coal miner training programs.

"It's going to be important to make sure people don't just come in and pass the test, but that they understand how important it is to make sure their people are safe," Fedinec said. "There's a lot of responsibility that comes with these certifications."

In his current role as safety engineer, Fedinec prides himself on being able to work with employees at Trapper and is looking forward to transitioning into a similar role as an examiner.

"What I hope to do is contribute because the mining industry has been so good to me over the years with all of the certifications and the position I am in now," Fedinec said. "I just hope I can help in some way."

Fedinec said he has already been contacted by other examiners and is looking forward to his first board meeting Jan. 20, 2012 in Denver.

He will oversee his first day of testing Feb. 4, 2012, at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction when the board administers mine foreman, electrician, blaster and shotfirer examinations.

According to the news release, board terms last four years. However, Fedinec is filling a recently vacated position. He is slated to serve until July 1, 2013, but hasn't ruled out serving a full term in the future.

"I'm just going to see how this first term goes," Fedinec said. "If I am able to put in the time commitment and feel that I am effective, I would certainly put my name in for another term."

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Quotable

“What I hope to do is contribute because the mining industry has been so good to me over the years with all of the certifications and the position I am in now. I just hope I can help in some way.”

Justin Fedinec

Craig resident about his appointment to the Colorado Coal Mine Board of Examiners

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