Career Fair for area sophomores

Career and Technical Education is being celebrated nationwide the month of February. The Washington County Career Center joins in the celebration by hosting an Annual Career Fair for the county’s sophomores. In addition, the Washington County Career Center Board of Education honored outstanding contributors to career and technical education as part of the celebration.

During its February meeting, the board recognized Matt Hilverding of Pioneer Group, Jeff Smith and Jeff White of Plumbers & Pipe Fitters, Local Union No. 168, and Kelli White and Marcella Will of Camden Clark Medical Center for their substantial contributions to the technical education programs at the Career Center.

Matt Hilverding, is the chief financial and chief operating officer of Pioneer Pipe, Inc. in Marietta, and has been employed with them since 1994. During the last 20 years, Pioneer has seen tremendous growth, especially in the oil and gas market, and now has revenues in excess of $115 million. Hilverding was active in the development of the “School to Apprenticeship” welding program at Pioneer that began with the Washington County Career Center one year ago which has given high school seniors the opportunity to forge careers in the Plumbing and Pipefitting industry. He comments, “The Career Center and its leadership, faculty, and students have made this program the success it has become today.”

Jeff Smith is an 18-year member and the training coordinator for the Plumbers & Pipe Fitters, Local Union No. 168, in Marietta. Smith served his five-year apprenticeship in this union and has been a crucial part of coordinating the “School to Apprenticeship” welding program. He is a 1991 graduate of Marietta High School and has worked in the local construction industry since obtaining his degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995. Smith resides in Marietta with his wife, Gi, and their two daughters.

Kelli Stephens is the surgical buyer for Camden Clark Medical Center, in Parkersburg, and has been employed there for 33 years. Stephens’s position requires her to monitor, control, and provide inventory, supplies, and equipment for Surgery, Sterile Supply, and Cardiac Cath Lab as well as other departments and physician offices. One of her additional duties is to dispose of expired products. The Career Center Adult Technical Training’s Surgical Technology program has benefited from this greatly in that Camden Clark continuously is donating supplies and instruments that are outdated which the hospital no longer can utilize.

Jeff White is a 25-year member and the business manager of the Plumbers & Pipe Fitters, Local Union 168. White is a 1986 graduate of Fort Frye High School and attended the Washington County Career Center, where he completed the two-year technical training program, Machine Trades. He is one of the six trustees on the Marietta Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee. This committee is comprised of three Local Union members and three local signatory contractors. The committee worked diligently over the past year with the Ohio State Apprenticeship Department Council, Plumbers & Pipe Fitters Local 168, Pioneer Group, and the Washington County Career Center high school welding instructor, Keelan McLeish, to develop the first “School to Apprenticeship” program. White helped in giving the Washington County Career Center the opportunity to become the first career and technical school to participate and be successful with this program. He contributes, “The success of my career is due to the opportunities and education that I acquired at the Washington County Career Center which, in turn, makes my involvement in providing the “School to Apprenticeship” to current and future students of this facility even more rewarding.”

Marcella Wyers Will, RN, MSN, is the clinical education coordinator for the Camden Clark Medical Center. Will began her career at St. Joseph’s Hospital as a nursing assistant while working her way through nursing school. She received her associate degree from Parkersburg Community College (now West Virginia University-Parkersburg), BSN from Salem University and MSN from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. Will recently celebrated her 40th anniversary working in health care. Her most recent nursing passion is medical missions to Central America. The Career Center Adult Technical Training is most grateful for the supplies and materials donated to their Surgical Technology program which gives the students a more realistic opportunity with their lab practices.