I've never replied to your post but have read them all. You remind me of my son going through his schooling. He landed a job in the worst job market since the great depression. I was mighty proud of him and you too. Don't see a lot of young men go in to that field now.
Don't know if there's a Babcock & Wilcox plant near you but that would be a darn good place to make $$$$$$. You may not want to move though. In Lynchburg they get DOD contracts. AREVA is another, also does some work in Lynchburg.
My son works for a transformer company that builds large transformers. Some have to be built on rail cars to get them out of the building when finished. So if you don't mind moving this is a great area for a good steady job making some good money. You would have no problem getting hired either. Keep up the good work. It's great and refreshing too.