http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=PT+Sans Hinds CC Vicksburg-Warren Campus continues advanced river barge training course

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Hinds CC Vicksburg-Warren Campus continues advanced river barge training course
Posted by
28 June

Hinds CC Vicksburg-Warren Campus continues advanced river barge training course

VICKSBURG – A career-building program on the Mississippi River has moved onto Hinds’ Vicksburg-Warren Campus to stay.

Specialized training to be tankermen on push boats that help move products up and down the river is filling a big need for skilled labor on the water. Completion allows deckhands on tank barges to move up to the job responsible for managing liquid cargo on the average barge tow and seeing it’s transferred safely to and from tank barges.

Garrett Williams reads measurements on a intructional replica of a barge at Goldling Barge. Williams was part of the river barge training program in 2016 at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Garrett Williams reads measurements on a replica of a barge at Golding Barge. Williams was part of the river barge training program in 2016 at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

A Coast-Guard approved course first hosted on campus last year has received support from local industries to continue for the fall 2017 semester. Industry partners Golding Barge Line, Magnolia Marine Transport and Smith Towing Company have supplied rope, steel and other equipment for the class, which is being expanded with staff instruction. Previously, an outside service taught the course.

“We’ve taken on the class and are having it here on campus because it’s the only program of its kind in Mississippi,” Vicksburg-Warren Campus Dean Marvin Moak said. “It’s a unique opportunity.”

A classroom course, which covers basic terminology on flammable or combustible materials and sources of fuel for potential hazards, is followed by fire safety and other hands-on courses held outdoors on campus.

Chad Vickers uses equipment on an instructional replica of a barge at Golding Barge. Vickers was part of the river barge training program in 2016 at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus. (April Garon/ Hinds Community College)

Chad Vickers uses equipment on an instructional replica of a barge at Golding Barge. Vickers was part of the river barge training program in 2016 at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus. (April Garon/ Hinds Community College)

Earnings potential on the water in the high five-figure range drives the current wave of entrants to deckhand school, which trains for the industry’s entry-level position. In 2014, the college and Golding partnered on the deckhand training course when it was made possible by a federal workforce grant.

After students attain second-level experience handling and rigging lines, they can choose to train for tankerman positions that can pay double the annual salary of entry-level deckhands. Students are evaluated and certified accordingly at the completion of each of the training courses.

Six months of experience and supervised transfers by licensed tankermen are necessary before a trainee can become similarly certified. In addition to class lecture and fire safety, formal training also covers rules and regulations, transfer procedures and emergency response,

For information about enrolling in the deckhand or tankerman training program offered in Vicksburg through Hinds Community College, contact Marvin Moak, dean of Hinds’ Vicksburg-Warren Campus, at 601.629.6804.

[tweetable alt=””]River barge training course at Hinds CC trains for top-dollar careers [/tweetable]

 

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Hinds CC partnership with industry grows workforce on Mississippi River
Posted by
11 August

Hinds CC partnership with industry grows workforce on Mississippi River

VICKSBURG – Tossing a heavy, 12-foot mooring rope off a barge on the Mississippi River is a calling for some and simply a rough-sounding job for others.

Chad Vickers and Garrett Williams each have trained to do this now, and, though they took different paths to the “marine life,” they have specialized deckhand training through Hinds Community College and Golding Barge Line.

Chad Vickers turns equipment on a barge used for training purposes at Golding Barge in Vicksburg. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Chad Vickers turns equipment on a barge used for training purposes at Golding Barge in Vicksburg. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

“It runs in my family,” said Vickers, 24, a Vicksburg native and Level 2 deckhand with the River City-based barge company. “They’ve been on the water all my life. My grandfather owned a ferry on the Yazoo River and we all fished.”

This past winter, he completed a 7 ½- day [tweetable alt=””]deckhand training course[/tweetable] offered since 2014 and paid for by the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant to nine members of the Mississippi River Transportation, Distribution and Logistics consortium, of which Hinds is a part. Although the grant ends in October, the college and its industry partners have worked together to keep the training available to those who want to enter the marine transport industry.

“The transportation sector is one of the largest industries in our service area.” said Chad Stocks, vice president of Career, Technical, and Workforce Education. “With the expansion of the Panama Canal and more manufacturing companies locating or expanding in the college’s service area, the ability to move goods up and down the river is essential. This training program provides qualified workers to do this work and I am thrilled that we were able to set the program up with the grant and sustain it with industry partnerships.”

Deckhands in the industry make in the $20,000 to $30,000 range annually. As a trained tankerman, Vickers stands to get a significant raise in life – to about $65,000. And he’s all in for the gig.

“I’ll be doing tankerman training next – working my way up the ladder like everyone else,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll make it to the top soon.”

Garrett Williams reads measurements on a barge used for instructional purposes at Goldling Barge in Vicksburg. The equipment allows workers to check the level of liquid product inside the barge. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Garrett Williams reads measurements on a barge used for instructional purposes at Goldling Barge in Vicksburg. The equipment allows workers to check the level of liquid product inside the barge. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

Williams is climbing the same ladder. The Rolling Fork native already had a bachelor’s degree in Education from Delta State University, but switched careers due to the earnings potential on the water.

“I found out about the program from a friend after being laid off from a job in oilfield services,” said Williams, a tankerman trainee. “Other people had talked to me about how good a company and job it is, and wanted to put myself in a position to follow behind them.”

Hinds and industry veterans with Maritime Services of Louisiana are training employees of Golding, Yazoo River Towing and Magnolia Marine.

Students are evaluated and certified accordingly after completing the training, in which they touch on every aspect of working on a barge – from throwing and securing a line, operating a johnboat, rigging, among other practical skills. Hands-on sessions are conducted after classroom sessions each morning and testing. The effect it’s had has been companies getting job-ready workers without interrupting workflow.

From left, Chad Vickers, Garrett Williams, and Golding Barge vice president of Human Resources Stirlin Hancock. (April Garon/ Hinds Community College)

From left, Chad Vickers, Garrett Williams, and Golding Barge vice president of Human Resources Stirlin Hancock. (April Garon/Hinds Community College)

“Experienced industry veterans instruct the training,” said Stirlin Hancock, vice president of human resources at Golding Barge. “So, we fully intend for the training to go forward after the grant is up. We’re working with Hinds to make that happen.”

For information about enrolling in the deckhand training program offered in Vicksburg through Hinds Community College, contact Marvin Moak, dean of Hinds’ Vicksburg-Warren Campus, at 601-629-6805.

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