The Washington County Career Center's adult technical training arm is staying on top of business developments both positive and negative in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Adult technical training director David Combs told members of the career center board during their regular meeting Thursday night that he and other representatives of the center were in on discussions about the proposed cracker plant in Wood County, expected to bring thousands of jobs to the area, even before it was officially announced.
"We've been involved with that a lot," Combs said in response to a question from board member Rod Hineman, of Belpre City Schools. "It's supposed to be a big, mega-type plant."
In addition to the training needs of that petrochemical complex, the career center is also reaching out to workers at the Washington, W.Va., SABIC Innovative Plastics plant, whose closure in the next 18 months was announced in conjunction with the cracker plant plans and on whose site the facility would be built.
Career center Superintendent Dennis Blatt said adult technical training programs are "filling up," and it's often hard to find Combs and other staff members as they're working to meet the needs of both employers and displaced workers.
"They're not here because they're out there in all those places, trying to get those people to come to the Washington County Career Center," he said.
6 p.m. Jan. 14, organizational meeting; regular meeting to follow; annex board room.
In other business
Combs told the board the adult pipe welding and heavy equipment systems and maintenance programs were approved by the Ohio Department of Education. Demand for welders has grown as oil and natural gas exploration increase in the region.
Both programs will cover a year's worth of material, 720 hours, but the welding program will do it over a six-month period.
The board voted 5-0, with members Karen Burton and Johnna Zalmanek absent, to accept the retirement of special education coordinator Joe Schwendeman, who has worked at the center for 27 1/2 years.