Mountwest invites public to test out simulator

Updated 4 years ago

Huntington, W.Va. - Mountwest Community & Technical College invites the public to experience what it’s like to steer a towboat on the Ohio River among many other scenarios using its new Full Mission Wheelhouse Simulator at its Inland Waterways Academy on Tuesday, March 18, from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

The simulator will give students hands-on practice in a realistic environment, teach them how to safely handle towboats, and experience and manage various emergencies without putting themselves or the public in danger.

The simulator, made possible through a federal grant in partnership with the Marshall University Research Corporation and the Rahall Transportation Institute, is a cost-effective way for Mountwest to train steersmen safely and efficiently. These skills and trainings are beneficial to all major companies in our region that operate towboats, including Crounse, AEP, Marathon and Campbell Transportation.  

“Safety of river transportation and the safe transport of materials to and from river vessels has always been a paramount goal of the Inland Waterways Academy,” said Capt. John Whiteley, Executive Director of Workforce Development at Mountwest. “The full Mission Wheelhouse Simulator will enable the Inland Waterways Academy to train the men and women who pilot towboats and other vessels on the Inland Waterways to operate their vessels safely and thus protect the environment and the people who live along our waterways.”

The simulator fills most of a full-size classroom at the Tri-State Fire Academy, and it consists of seven visual channels, giving a 180-degree view forward from the wheelhouse plus a visual channel that looks backward.

Dr. Keith Cotroneo, President of Mountwest, boasts of the new technology and extends his gratitude to those who made it possible.

“We’re so excited to be able to offer this hands-on, interactive experience to our students here at Mountwest,” said Cotroneo. “Many individuals and organizations worked tirelessly to gather the funds and put the technology into place; our students will be reaping the benefits by entering the workforce more prepared than ever for years to come.”

The event is free but attendees are asked to RSVP by March 10 to or by calling 304-697-5616. For more information about the Inland Waterways Academy and enrollment in Mountwest courses that utilize the simulator, call 304-697-5616.

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