PROMOTED: Melissa Jasko has been promoted to senior agent-personal lines at Assure America, Weirton.
Jasko, who attended West Virginia University, has been employed at Assure America since 2005 and holds the professional designation of API from the Insurance Institute of America. She also is the recipient of a number of professional and agency awards.
As one of West Virginia's largest independent insurance agencies, Assure America has offices in Chester, Weirton and Wellsburg and represents more than 10,000 policyholders.
NAMED: Eastern Gateway Community College has hired a new assistant director and an academic coordinator for its TRiO Upward Bound program.
Amy Colantoni is the new assistant director, and Christopher Hoover is the new academic coordinator.
Colantoni, a Steubenville resident, attended Eastern Gateway and then transferred to the University of Akron, where she earned a bachelor's degree in business organizational communications and public relations and her master's degree in higher education administration. Prior to joining the college, she was the director of student activities at Bethany College and an admissions counselor at Lake Erie College. She was nominated as an Outstanding Woman in Higher Education.
Hoover, also a Steubenville resident, received his bachelor's degree in secondary education from West Liberty University and his master's degree in educational administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He previously worked for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.
Upward Bound, the oldest and largest of the seven federally funded TRIO programs, helps prepare low-income, potential first generation college students in grades ninth through 12th for higher education. Students participate in in-school, after-school, Saturday and summer activities. Currently, 953 programs exist nationwide and serve more than 56,000 students annually.
The Upward Bound program at Eastern Gateway began in 2007 and serves eligible students annually from Buckeye Local, Edison, Indian Creek, Steubenville, and Toronto high schools. Applications from interested eighth- and ninth-grade students are accepted. For information about the program, call (740) 264-5591, extension 301, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
HELP AVAILABLE: The Ohio Appalachian Educational Opportunity Center offers free help to adults who are interested in entering or re-entering college, including locating colleges that match their areas of interest, assistance with financial aid forms and admission, help with GED and more.
For information, call Dennis Vince at Eastern Gateway Community College at (800) 68-COLLEGE or (740) 264-5591, extension 204.
SHALE: A three-week ShaleNET Roustabout/Floorhand training program is set from Feb. 25 through March 15 at Eastern Gateway Community College's Steubenville campus.
The enrollment process should be started as soon as possible to meet the registration deadline of Feb. 11.
The program runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and provides an in-depth orientation for people interested in entry-level labor positions in the oil and gas industry.
The program is offered tuition free to eligible participants through the college's partnership with ShaleNET, a federal grant program to train workers for targeted jobs in the shale gas industry. However, applicants are responsible for the cost of a pre-enrollment drug screening, background check and physical exam. Applicants must have a valid driver's license and must pass a basic skills test prior to the Feb. 11 registration deadline.
Tracee Joltes, work force outreach assistant director at Eastern Gateway, said the jobs in highest demand include general laborers, heavy equipment operators and commercial truck drivers, among others.
"The gas industry has clearly stated its preference for a local work force and is committed to hiring local employees as fast as workers can be identified and trained," said Joltes. "The biggest challenge to building a well-prepared local work force for the gas industry rests in recruitment and pre-employment training for this industry, especially because of its unique culture.
"Job requirements are tough in this industry. Many of them require working 12-hour shifts in all kinds of weather for two or three weeks at a time, doing whatever is asked of them in preparing the site, setting up and dismantling rigs, performing routine maintenance and otherwise making themselves useful," she said.
Information about the program and enrollment process can be found at www.egcc.edu/shale. Students also may call (740) 264-5591, extension 310, to request an application packet.