Hundreds Turn Out for Vocational-Technical Fair

May 15, 2004 – Job seekers and others "just looking" crowded around displays at a vocational-technical fair hosted on Saturday by Hovensa and Pinnacle Services at the Sunny Isle Shopping Center atrium.
Taken in by the exhibits, they collected literature and asked questions about career options with some 75 entities. The fair exhibitors included the Departments of Labor and Education, the University of the Virgin Islands, and the private sector firms Longview Inspection, Wyatt, Triangle Construction and Maintenance, Hovensa and Pinnacle.
Longview, Wyatt and Triangle are Hovensa contractors. Pinnacle operates an industrial crafts training program for Hovensa employees and the community as a whole at the St. Croix Vocational School. It currently offers boilermaker, carpentry, electrical, instrumentation, masonry, millwright, pipefitting and welding courses.
The courses are funded by Hovensa, and there is no tuition cost to residents.
"I think it went very well and really appreciate Sunny Isle for having us here," Dan McIntosh, Pinnacle craft training manager, said. "We would like to see more interested parties from the junior high and senior high levels. We would like to see more, but we had a good representation here today."
McIntosh said he visited Arthur A. Richards Junior High School a week ago and plans to visit the island's other two junior highs before the end of the school year.
"This is the time the vocational schools do their marketing, and we want to join them to make sure enrollment increases in the vocational programs," he said.
Longview provides inspection services in the metallurgic areas. Its personnel survey pipes and valves in the Hovensa oil refinery. Larry Burkhardt said even though it rained in the morning, he thought at least 200 people stopped by the company's exhibit.
"There are a lot of opportunities here if people would just take a look," Burkhardt said. "They need to open their eyes and see what's here."
Carl Christopher of Per Anhk said his program currently offers vocational training to 15 students and he wanted to learn what careers are available to his participants.
"We found out there are some great areas in technical training being offered at the vocational school that our community is not taking advantage of," Christopher said. "There are also good opportunities for our students to get on-the-job training at Hovensa that they need to take advantage of."

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