The first two movements of the five movement work. Its goal is to "honor the people who persevered and endured in the Pennsylvania Anthracite coal region during a time when the industry fueled the nation, and to reveal a bit about who we are as American workers".
The final movement of the four movement work. Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing; Kevin Vondrak, conductor of Young People's Chorus of New York City, Jaap van Zweden, conductor of New York Philharmonic. It is "based on the garment industry in New York City at the turn of the century, with a focus on the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and its aftermath".