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OTC Students Learn About Biomass & Rail Link


Representatives with Georgia Biomass and Rail Link met with Okefenokee Technical College electronics students May 19 to share information about their companies and inform students of current and upcoming career opportunities.

Freddie Herrin (right), former graduate of the electronics program and Biomass employee, shared his experiences at OTC and Georgia Biomass, while Paul McMillan (second from right), human resource manager with Georgia Biomass, talked about the Biomass hiring process, criteria for hire, and employment benefits.

James Wineland (third from left), mechanical vice president of Rail Link, a Genesee & Wyoming Company (GWI), spoke of Rail Link’s recent safety award and emphasized the company’s stance on the importance of safety. He also shared criteria for employment and other company information. Wineland noted that GWI owns and operates short line and regional freight railroads in the US, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Thomas Wesley (left), OTC electronics program director, set up the meeting and facilitated the Q & A session. Rail Link employee Burt Harper (third from left) joined Wineland in the Q & A discussion, answering questions about basic operations of the company.

The neatest part about the meeting, according to OTC career services director Charlie Gibson (second from left), was the discovery by everyone present of the relationship between Georgia Biomass and Rail Link. Rail Link officials brought the April issue of the newsletter to the meeting to distribute to students. The front cover carried a photo of the wood pellet plant in Waycross, and the cover story, “Wood Pellets Bring New Business to Savannah Wharf,” told how GWI will help transport pellets to the Netherlands.

When Biomass rail cars land in the Southover Yard in Savannah, Rail Link takes over (from CSX) to pick the train up and haul it to the Wharf where they will spot 15 cars at a time to East Coast Terminals. The entire process of getting the pellets to their destination involves Rail Link on both ends of international traffic, the Savannah Port and the Port of Rotterdam.

Photo 1

Photo 1:
Thomas Wesley (L to R) and Charlie Gibson of Okefenokee Technical College welcomed Georgia Biomass and Rail Link officials Burt Harper, James Wineland, Paul McMillan, and Freddie Herrin to the Waycross campus last Thursday to speak to OTC electronics students about career opportunities.

Photo 2

Photo 2:
OTC electronics students (seated) learned from business leaders (back row, standing) how skills and education can land them employment with companies like Georgia Biomass and Rail Link.



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