Marion County woman is breaking barriers in the coal mining industry

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FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Tanisha Douglas-Walker is the only African American female underground coal miner at Jennmar Services.

Tanisha was inspired by her best friend’s grandmother, who is a retired coal miner and thought that it would be something different to do with her life and decided to go for it.

She said she works with only a handful of women, but that she is proud to be the only female underground coal miner who is African American at Jennmar Services.

She said that she receives a lot of support from her male coworkers ever since she started a couple of months ago. They check up on her, make sure she gets home alright and they help her whenever she needs it on the job.

Tanisha is currently a red hat coal miner, which is a new coal miner until they’ve been there for six months. Eventually, she’ll reach the black hat status and she’ll be moved up to where she’ll have more responsibility.

Being the only African American female coal miner at Jennmar Services means a lot to Tanisha and she sees herself working in this industry as long as possible.

“It’s history and I’m grateful. On top of that they treat me real good so they never make me feel out of place. You know I’m just like one of the guys down there.”

Tanisha Douglas-Walker

To learn more, watch this live interview with reporter Abigail Lawhead:

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