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Old 01-25-2011, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Gosport, Hampshire
15 posts, read 31,690 times
Reputation: 13

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Hey guys - I just signed up so I'm new here! I had a couple of questions I wanted to ask. I'm getting all my research in early (before university) so that the courses that I actually take at university will work in the USA too. My partener and I would be moving after we finish university, so in the next couple of years.

I just wondered if anybody had the time to answer a couple of questions? (Main areas I was thinking of would be the outskirts of Huntington or Charleston)

- What is WV like for sport and personal fitness? My OH wants to be a personal trainer. Are jobs as personal trainers hard to come by or plenty? Are they well paid or no?

- What kind of industries are growing and good to get in to? I love history and culture, are there many openings in these kinds of jobs (museums, heritage, culture) or are they not very common and would I be wiser to take American Studies & History at University and then become a lecturer in college or something of the sort?

- What is the countryside like near both of those places? Can you just walk outside the city in to forests or open countryside or not? Where is the best picturesque place to go which still has good job and living opportunities?

I would love to be able to go on beautiful long walks in the countryside that you see in the pictures, along the rivers, in the beautiful forests, and I want to be in close proximity to this - Though I'd also love to be in around 30-minute driving distance from a city for work, amenities, the like. Am I just dreaming or is this all do-able?

The main things that attract me are the friendly atmosphere, the good education, the beauty, and just being able to relax. Thanks for reading all of this, I'd really appreciate some help!
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Huntington, WV
4,944 posts, read 8,907,689 times
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I think that Huntington would be able to fit most of your needs from what I can tell. Huntington is the second largest city in the state with around 50,000 people so it has plenty to do. It's also the home of Marshall University which brings plenty here as well in terms of culture and sporting events. Here is a great article about what makes Huntington a wonderful place: Huntington Quarterly | Articles | Issue 72 | 50 Things We Love


I'll try to go over your questions one at a time here:

-Huntington has several fitness facilities that would give opportunities to be a personal trainer. We have the YMCA, ABSolute Fitnes, CrossFit Thunder, The Marshall University Rec Center and American Health Centers. There are also several smaller gyms that are in local health centers that may have some openings. I'm not sure if any of the larger facilities have openings for personal trainers or even really the pay scale but here are links to each so that you might be able to contact them and find out:

YMCA

ABSolute Fitness - (304) 733 - 1600

Stronger Than Yesterday: What Is CrossFit??

Marshall Recreation Center

Your Health Center...For Life! - American Health Centers

- There are several museums in Huntington but most museums utilize people more on a volunteer basis and keep the number of paid staff to a minimum. From that standpoint, you'd be better served to look into classes that would allow you to teach at Marshall or any of the other local schools. One of the best fields to look into before coming would be almost anything in heathcare. There are other local industries here that are doing well (metal, rubber, small parts, occular lens and others) but industry in general is in decline across the U.S. The railroad industry has seen some growth here and there are also jobs working on the river but these would require you to be away for long periods of time. Here are some links to museums, schools and local industries:

Museums

Huntington Museum of Art | Huntington, WV

Heritage Farm Museum and Villiage of Huntington, West Virginia

The Birke Art Gallery

The Renaissance Gallery on Myspace

Huntington, WV - J. Taylor Auto Collection

Huntington, WV - Museum of Radio and Technology

Schools

Marshall University - Huntington, WV

Mountwest Community & Technical College

Huntington Junior College

Cabell County Schools - Dedicated to the Success of Every Student

Industry

Alcon West Virginia Information and Resources | Alcon

Steel of West Virginia, Inc. 1

Huntington Steel & Supply Company

Special Metals :: 100 Years of Innovation

Rubberlite, Inc.

Sogefi

Portec Rail Products, Inc.

Imperial Bedding Company - Imperial Bedding Company

Welcome to CSX.com - CSX

- Any city in West Virginia will offer quick access to countryside. In Huntington, the Ohio River borders the city and you can get some wonderful views there. They are actually constructing a 26 mile trail system that will border the river and connect some of the local parks and towns. We also have a great parks system here with some great trails. Ritter park, Barboursville park and even the Museum of Art have hiking trails. Beech Fork State park is also about 15 min from Huntington and also has some trails. You would also be close by to many such parks in Kentuky and Ohio as well. Here are some links to these things:

Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District

Paul Ambrose Trail for Health (PATH)

Barboursville Park (http://www.barboursville.org/About/BarboursvillePark/tabid/74/Default.aspx - broken link)

Beech Fork State Park

Huntington Museum of Art | Huntington, WV

West Virginia Hiking | West Virginia Hikes


In my opinion, you would do good to look into living in Huntington. We are well known for our friendly people, have great educational opportunities here, have lots to do, offer good shopping and also have an atmosphere where you can get away from everything while being surrounded by beauty. If you have any other questions or need anything else, feel free to ask!

Tim
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Gosport, Hampshire
15 posts, read 31,690 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks so much Tim, that was immensely useful! Huntington is certainly the front runner for when we relocate thanks again for taking the time out to answer!
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Huntington, WV
4,944 posts, read 8,907,689 times
Reputation: 931
No problem! Just let me know if you have any other Huntington related questions and I'll do my best to answer.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:19 AM
 
246 posts, read 878,484 times
Reputation: 104
I live in Charleston and have a place in fayette county. The gym I go to the personal trainers charge 40-50 an hour. There is no way I would pay that. As for jobs in your field forget it. There are plenty of minimum wage jobs around here. As for a stroll through the countryside, a stroll here is straight up the hills and then fight your way through greenbriers. I do plenty of "strolls' and they end up survival marches. If you just pick a hill and walk up it, you better be in top shape. If you go east of Charleston you can do some hiking but be forewarned if you go in too far and get hurt you are on your own. Also I have been way out and come across some drunken hillbillies on 4 wheelers. Some were ok others were a little threatening. I never go hiking or biking in the woods unarmed. Throw in some black bears which will avoid you unless you come between their cubs and your stroll could become interesting. Some places you will find the land posted. I usually let people walk on my land if they aren't snotty or trash the place but the 4 wheelers are the worst. You will be shocked at the amount of trash you will find out in the woods. Also you may not find some people out in the woods the friendlest. I have bicycled way out and could see them dirty eyeing me. I got lost a few times and come across somebody's land and they didn't like it. I don't know much about Huntington but I don't think there is much open land that you can stroll across, I'm guessing most of it will be private property and if it is posted I recommend you don't go on it.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:51 AM
 
80 posts, read 221,682 times
Reputation: 48
I don't want you to be disappointed and do not want to discourage you.

BUT:

You will find that there are museums here and historical societys that will welcome you with open arms. There are plenty of organizations that you can volunteer for but actual good paying jobs in the historical and cultural areas are few. I have several internet friends that live in the UK and some good friends that go to England every year. You may find that the UK takes its historic preservation a little more seriously (or possibly gets better funding).

In 2008 Huntington was revealed to be the fatteset city: W. Virginia town shrugs at being fattest city - Health - Health care - msnbc.com . There is an obvious need for personal trainers and nutrition experts, but will they be able to find adequate employment? There are several excercise facilities and many fad exercises going around.

The only industry that grows here is coal. It ebbs and flows.

I live in southern WV and the outdoor recreation is prevalant in this areas and one heck of a tourist industry. I'm not sure about the Huntington area as it is a good 2 hours drive from where I live.

I would encourage you to work and save your money, come over for a visit first. Please keep us posted on what you discover.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Gosport, Hampshire
15 posts, read 31,690 times
Reputation: 13
Hi guys, thanks for the responses! Kookamus, just out of interest although this might seem incredibly naive as bears aren't ever something I've experienced - I thought you weren't meant to shoot at bears? I saw in a film that it just aggravates them? Sorry for the stupid question.

& chambersb, do you think that self employed fitness training could be a good idea then? For example, like 20 dollars per hour session or something so as not to be ridiculously expensive. I've decided myself to go into kindergarten or pre k education, because that also has scope for self employment. For example, montesourri daycare (sorry if you're not familiar with the term, I'm not sure if it's called the same thing there. It's basically daycare that gives an early start to literacy skills, maths, and sometimes foreign language).


We're taking a trip out this summer, likely late-July or august time, and we'd hopefully as well as sightseeing, try and make appointments at the university and local gyms and schools to see whether our careers and dreams would be viable.
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:24 PM
 
80 posts, read 221,682 times
Reputation: 48
Bear has a hunting season. I'm sure in self defense they will make an exception any time of the year. Especially in the spring when they have cubs you will be wise to stear clear, if you see one go the other way. With that said, I have lived here all my life and only seen a bear once, it was crossing the road while I was visiting a town very far north of here. I have heard they have a tendancy to get into people's garbage and to terrorize outside animals. Never fear tho you will more than likely have a gung ho neighbor who can't wait to use his new shotgun, lol!!!!


I live in Fayette county and there is a small but growing montesourri school here. I don't know what they pay since the only person I know that has worked there has children there, too. It may be some kind of work off their tuition kind of thing (she recently quit to take a position with the state). It is privately owned, they do not offer employer paid insurance or retirement benefits.

Would a self employed fitness trainer be a good idea? Well, I certainly think it is a good idea but WV is not the most friendly state for small businesses. There are lots of taxes and registration fees, but if you built up a good client base I think it may go. It may take some time but I definately think it is worth a try. I know a girl who did massage therapy for a local gym, built up her client base and went out on her own. She is doing quite well.

The benefits in the public education system are in my opinion very good. The insurance is good and you get many paid holidays and summers off. The salaries aren't exactly top of the line, but you won't starve. I don't know about the public school system in Cabell and Wayne counties but in Fayette it is very difficult to obtain a full time teaching position. You have to work your way through a substitute list. The pulblic school system in WV is regulated by each county. You may be able to find more information or be able to apply for jobs or place yourself on a register by looking it up online. If you are used to the montesourri style you will find adjusting to public school a bit of a challenge, lol. However, it is not impossible to do.
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Old 01-29-2011, 03:59 PM
 
246 posts, read 878,484 times
Reputation: 104
If you come across a bear just roll him on his back and scratch his belly. There ain't much in the way of good jobs here. How did you pick WV? Throw a dart at a map?
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:10 PM
 
10,147 posts, read 14,993,383 times
Reputation: 1782
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovelifex View Post
Hi guys, thanks for the responses! Kookamus, just out of interest although this might seem incredibly naive as bears aren't ever something I've experienced - I thought you weren't meant to shoot at bears? I saw in a film that it just aggravates them? Sorry for the stupid question.

& chambersb, do you think that self employed fitness training could be a good idea then? For example, like 20 dollars per hour session or something so as not to be ridiculously expensive. I've decided myself to go into kindergarten or pre k education, because that also has scope for self employment. For example, montesourri daycare (sorry if you're not familiar with the term, I'm not sure if it's called the same thing there. It's basically daycare that gives an early start to literacy skills, maths, and sometimes foreign language).


We're taking a trip out this summer, likely late-July or august time, and we'd hopefully as well as sightseeing, try and make appointments at the university and local gyms and schools to see whether our careers and dreams would be viable.
Just noticed your post. You really should consider Morgantown, home of the State's (far and away) flagship University. And, if you want to study something in an up and coming field, there is no doubt in my mind the thing to study is Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at West Virginia University.
The program is Top 10 nationally ranked, and natural gas is taking off like wildfire here. With the discovery of the Marcellus Shale natural gas field, second largest in the world and larger than that in Saudi Arabia, they expect to hire more than 20,000 new workers in the northern part of our state in the next few years. Coal is solid, but natural gas will eclipse it in most of WV in the coming years.

There are a number of fine health clubs in Morgantown and nearby Fairmont, and the Health and Fitness Center at West Virginia is truly a marvel. There are also museums abd galleries, and they are building a brand new multi million dollar art gallery at The University. Cultural offerings abound, and awesome outdoor venues are right out the back door. There are more than 40 miles of first rate already completed biking/hiking trails. Morgantown also boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the entire Nation, and is one of two regions in the State that are growing economically and population wise.

Here are some links about Morgantown:

City of Morgantown, WV official website

Morgantown Awards Continue to grow

Morgantown Biking and Walking Trails

Coopers Rock State Forest

Morgantown WV Hotels | WV Resorts | Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa, Morgantown, WV

http://healthworksrf.com/images/topleft.jpg (broken link)

Club 24 Fitness - Home

Waterfront Fitness Center, Morgantown, WV : Reviews and maps - Yahoo! Local

Health Club in Morgantown, WV - Gyms and fitness centers

Untitled Document

Curves - Locations - Morgantown, WV

http://www.wvu.edu/images/wvu.png

http://www.cemr.wvu.edu/common/menu0...tname_pnge.jpg

Student Rec Center | SRC Home

In addition, Morgantown is about 1 hour 15 minutes from a major metropolitan area (Pittsburgh) for all the cultural amenities a larger city brings. Only the Morgantown and Martinsburg areas offer proximity to major metropolitan areas along with the benefits of living in highly developed, safe communities. Only Morgantown offers those benefits combined with a major, comprehensive Land Grant University.

West Virginia is a wise choice in any case, and Morgantown will put you in one of America's smartest cities.
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