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They were promised coding of jobs in Appalachia. Now they say it was a scam.



The promised 16-week class went on 17 weeks. So 18, then 19. When the class continued, many students began to run out of money. Of the more than two dozen students who started, about 10 left in late October, some computer games played in class to pass the time, just waiting for the final project before upgrading.

Early on, Laucher had suggested that the project would be something for the community, perhaps a game app that addressed the opioid epidemic. Then the project was finally announced: the design of a website for a pet bed and breakfast that Mrs Laucher's mother opened in Pennsylvania.

But Stephanie Frame was still a believer. When spreading a tour of Mined Minds leadership to a technical conference in Lithuania in November, she saw an opportunity. She had never been out of the country, but this was a way of unlocking work, for her and for her daughter. Her husband decided to spend $ 1,000 on the trip.

"If I could hang with them," she remembered to think, "be one of them, show them how dedicated I am, how much I supported them, then we have."

While Stephanie and others were in Lithuania, the rest of the class discussed whether they should be able to take the exam. A Pennsylvania news station had reported problems with the Mined Minds program there, including that almost all of the candidates in a class had been fired just after being hired as apprentices. The state of Pennsylvania ordered the Mined Minds to stop operations for not having a license to run a school.

On one morning in late November, in the first grade after the Lithuania conference, the students in Beckley came to a shocking development. Two people who had gone on the trip – Stephanie Frame and Moore, their teaching assistant – had been kicked out of the program.

In a video conference, Mrs Laucher told the class that Stephanie had been rejected because of "extreme sexual harassment, a lot of drunkenness, basically behaving in a way that we would not tolerate on Mined Minds."


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