River Discovery Center Hosts River Industry Career Event
The River Discovery Center hosted over 75 high school students in its inaugural river industry career event. Held at the center and Maiden Alley Cinema, the event attracted students from Paducah City, McCracken County and Marshall County school districts. This is the first year for an event that was specifically geared to educate students about the vast array of career options available to them in or related to the inland waterways. The event, called Who Works the Rivers, a program based at the National Mississippi River Museum allows students to meet with many companies in the river industry as well as those in related fields.
Julie Harris, Executive Director of the River Discovery Center, says, “Our children need to be aware of what careers are available to them in our river industry. The river industry is so important to this entire region and we knew this would be a great opportunity for high school age kids to learn more about all the many careers that they can pursue after high school or college graduation. There are a lot of misconceptions about river careers, and we wanted companies and organizations to have a chance to talk directly with some who could potentially work for them in the future.”
Companies and organizations had material handouts to give to the students as well as audio visual presentations and hands on activities in which the students participated. They had a unique opportunity to engage each student and discuss the student’s interest areas.
Additionally, the students participated in an activity which illustrated that careers are not limited to working on a towboat, but also you could work as a welder, environmentalist, sales, pilot, attorney, cook, deckhand, etc. The students also had the opportunity to spend time in the center’s boat simulator.
Companies and organizations participating were AEP River Operations, Ingram Barge, Marquette Transportation, Petter Supply, Paducah McCracken County Riverport Authority, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, the US Army Corps of Engineers, James Marine and Living Lands and Waters.