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Front Page » November 15, 2007 » Local News » WETC Aims to Keep Local Talent at Home
Published 2,880 days ago

WETC Aims to Keep Local Talent at Home

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Sun Advocate reporter

Students check out the booths during the Western Energy Training Center's jobs opportunity tour. According to WETC Director of Training Robert Litster, the event was conducted to demonstrate all the available energy related careers to Castle Valley youth.

The Western Energy Training Center is doing all that it can to show Castle Valley youth that there is good reason to stay in the local job market after high school graduation.

A tour given to students grades seventh - 12th was conducted by the College of Eastern Utah with the purpose of giving students a firsthand look at the various jobs in the energy industry.

According to director of training, Robert Litster, the topics covered during the Oct. 18 energy jobs opportunities tour included stops at Joy Manufacturing, Savage Services Coal Terminal and the PacifiCorp Carbon Power Plant. The students were introduced to, safety on the job, type of jobs available and skills needed for positions at these facilities as well as within local coal mines.

"I thought it was a great experience," said Litster. "The youth in the community were very attentive and seemed very interested in the vocations and pay scale available within the energy industry."

Lister reported that following the vocational tour students were taken to the WETC where they had the opportunity to talk with educators about the many different courses of study that are available in the local area and that would give them industry specific skills for the Castle Valley job market.

"The workforce readiness program is a 202 hour program that provides the student with a broad range of subjects that enables them to perform many different job tasks," said Litster

"Some of subjects that are covered are welding, basic cutting, career portfolio, Mining Safety and Health Administration 48 hour underground training and surface, power and hand tools, forklift training, fire fighting and industrial shop tool safety."

Students leave the WETC following the jobs opportunity tour. All response from the tour has been positive.

Litster pointed out that these skills will enable any individual in the local area to have a good opportunity to enter the job market quickly following high school.

"I think this program started out tremendously," said Litster. "The intent was to help fill jobs close to home with home grown talent and this tour helped show the innovation that is happening within these industries and the pay scale that is available to those who choose to work in the energy field.

This holds especially true for the Carbon Power Plant and the work that is available at PacifiCorp.

According to Litster, Shawn Powell handed each student a layout of the plant and then went though the processes needed to run a power plant. His demonstration showed the local students how the local energy industry works together.

"Coal is used to run the power plant," said Powell. "Which in turn generates electricity that runs the mining equipment that mines coal. Joy Manufacturing provides the mining equipment to mine the coal but the equipment would not operate without electricity. Savage Services could not move the coal without the electricity to operate the fuel pumps. It all boils down to the use of coal."

Following the tour each student was required to fill out and evaluation of the trip and then assigned a report to be written about their experience on the energy jobs opportunity tour.

"Nearly all the feedback we received was positive," said Litster. "I think we really got some kids very interested in persuing an education and vocation within the energy industry."

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