New River Community and Technical College has developed a new certification program, Electro-Mechanical-Instrumentation (EMI), with classes starting this summer at the Advanced Technology Center in Ghent.
James Bailey, a displaced coal miner, is starting a new career through the EMI program. Bailey said he found out about the program through the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).
“It’s a wonderful program,” said Bailey, who is from Rock Creek in Raleigh County. “It’s a good idea – rather than sitting at home wondering, ‘where am I going to go to get a job?’ This really has opened a lot of doors for me.”
Bailey benefits from financial aid designated for dislocated miners to return to school to further their career through education.
The EMI program was developed by New River CTC Industrial Technology Instructor and Master Electrician Joey Hazelwood. Discussions with business leaders, particularly in the oil and gas industry, helped to shape the direction of the curriculum.
“The program is geared toward offering skills and training for miners who are out of work in southern West Virginia, as well as for traditional college students,” Hazelwood said.
All of the program’s equipment is designed to be used with classroom lab work and on-the-job field work. Courses focus on electrical, mechanical, hydraulics, and process-control instrumentation. The EMI program requires 30 credit hours (two semesters), which can be transferred toward an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Technology.
“I’ve dealt with a lot of equipment like this in day-to-day work. I came here, and I learned a whole lot more about it. Rather than just putting something together, it’s learning all of the aspects of it,” Bailey said.
The program is designed for anyone interested in the following career fields: maintenance technician, industrial or electrical instrument repair technician, electrical installer, calibration technician, industrial instrumentation technician, electrical instrumentation planner, mechanical engineering technician, or plant operator.
To find out if you are eligible for financial aid as a displaced coal miner, please contact Ann Marie Nagye at Region 1 Workforce Investment Board, firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-253-3611 ext. 289. Registration is now open for summer and fall classes. To apply, contact email@example.com or call 1-866-349-3739.