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Information session features river and shore side jobs

Sep. 24, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A huge part of Huntington's landscape is also a forgotten resource for those looking for employment, said John Whiteley, executive director of Workforce Development at Mountwest Community and Technical College.

Whiteley was referring to the Ohio River, as MCTC and the Inland Waterways Academy hosted a Maritime Career Day Monday afternoon at the Tri-State Fire Academy in Huntington.

"We built a floodwall and we don't see the river, so we don't think about it," Whiteley said. "The river has good jobs, good paying jobs and has so many opportunities to offer people in a maritime career."

The Maritime Career Day featured information about a variety of river and shore side jobs including deckhands, welders, electricians, engineers, tankerman certification and industry progression. Representatives from Mountwest, AEP River Operations, Amherst Madison, Cabell County Career Technical Center, Higher Education Adult Program/Financial Aid, McGinnis, RCBI and West Virginia Workforce Region 2 were on-hand to discuss educational and career opportunities with interested visitors. It was the academy's first open house on jobs and training available in the career field.

"We're trying to spread the word that we're here," said Whiteley, who added that the session was well attended by parents and prospective students.

One of the training options available to students is an associate's degree in transportation technology, combining all areas of transportation under one umbrella with break-out options for more specific career options.

"Huntington is a transportation hub. Often, maritime folks think about boats, rail thinks about rail, and truckers think about the road, but transportation is a system. Everything works together."

Whiteley said welders, in particular, are in high demand.

To learn more about the transportation programs offered at MCTC, call 304-697-5616.

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.