The Times West Virginian

Local News

January 15, 2014

New initiative changes the education setting: PHOTOS & VIDEO

FAIRMONT — West Virginia Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathy D’Antoni is passionate about the simulated workplace: a new initiative that will document student knowledge and skill sets, and change the culture of career and technical education (CTE) while providing the business and industry field with qualified employees.

That was the topic of discussion at a meeting Tuesday at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center between D’Antoni, and several business owners and educators. D’Antoni said a simulated workplace changes the education setting.

“It transforms that setting into an actual company or workplace setting,” she said. “Students start to understand that the work they do in school and skill sets that they achieve all relate to a company’s bottom line.”

D’Antoni said these simulated workplaces do not change the instruction. They enhance what CTE instructors are already doing well. She said because of the demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills in West Virginia’s business and industry fields, simulated workplaces can ready students for careers in those fields.

“It doesn’t change the way we teach welding, robotics, engineering or electrics. It will change the culture,” D’Antoni said. “And that in itself is more of a difference in our schools than anything that you could imagine.”

D’Antoni said there are 21 pilot stations across the state in high schools. She said at these stations, students run simulated companies.

“They can earn money for the company or lose money for the company,” D’Antoni said. “That classroom then becomes a company instead of a regular classroom.”

During the presentation, D’Antoni said employers in the STEM fields have expressed to her that it’s hard for them to keep workers because of drug use and low technical skills. She said employers have openings for technician-level jobs in the state, but they cannot find employees who routinely show up for work, can pass a drug test and possess a positive work ethic.

Simulated workplaces are supposed to be the answers to these problems. D’Antoni said expectations of a simulated workplace include everything from using time clocks to random drug testing of the students.

“This is a whole different mind set for kids,” she said.

Although there are only a few stations in place now, D’Antoni said instructors have told her attendance with the CTE programs has skyrocketed.

“One instructor told me the attendance at the beginning of the simulated workplace was 75 percent and after a few days, it went up to 95 percent,” she said.

D’Antoni said the biggest piece of the simulated workplace involves business and industry leaders. She said the students’ companies will be evaluated and rated by outside business and industry inspectors.

“We are working with businesses and industries throughout the state to give us one day of their time to come into these various programs and inspect the companies these students create,” D’Antoni said.

The inspectors will review and rate those CTE programs. D’Antoni said if a CTE program is rated high, it will receive a West Virginia Industry Endorsement. The ones that rate low will be placed on a plan of improvement and will be eligible for another review after the problems are corrected.

D’Antoni said 147 inspectors are needed and only 70 have applied. She said if a business would like to apply, it may do so at www.simulatedworkplace.com.

With the few stations that are currently running, D’Antoni said the response from the simulated workplaces has been tremendous.

“From the students’ side, they’re loving it,” she said.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Four new candidates file for city council

    Four new candidates have filed to run for Fairmont City Council this week: Rob Linger in the 3rd District, Richard “Rick” McElroy and Fran Warner in the 5th District, and Jeremiah Rivera in the 7th District.

    July 24, 2014

  • WIC participants will soon have another way to get fresh food

    Participants in the Marion and Monongalia County Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) will soon have another way to get access to fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.
     

    July 24, 2014

  • Farmington couple charged with child neglect

    A Farmington couple was charged with child neglect after the wife allegedly sold drugs out of their home with children present.

    July 24, 2014

  • Children's Hospital Donation 2 - CB.jpg Students raise money for WVU Children’s Hospital

    Children from Sunbeam Early Learning Center visited West Virginia University’s Children’s Hospital Wednesday to make a special delivery.
    Two students, Niasia Payne, 10, and Desiree Balch, 11, held a bake sale at Sunbeam July 9 and 10 to raise money for the hospital and set a goal for $50.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fairmont seeks to rebrand itself

    The city of Fairmont is starting to try to reach out to residents in new ways.
    The city created a new position, Fairmont program manager of marketing and communications, to help facilitate the effort.
    Hanna Weaver said she started the job around four weeks ago. She is originally from the Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands region, and her previous job was working as executive director of the Grant County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    July 24, 2014

  • TWV, ARC sponsoring blood drive Friday at FSHS

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage.
    According to the American Red Cross, there have been 80,000 fewer blood donations given since May than expected. This has created an urgent need for blood donations as the Red Cross may soon face a blood shortage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bridgeport man charged with threatening officer

    A plaintiff in a four-year-old fraud cause is now being accused of not only threatening a State Police officer, but also the lives of the officer’s wife and children.
    Christopher John Domico, 37, of Bridgeport, was arrested Wednesday and charged with retaliation against public officers and witnesses.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mary Jane and Patches -ts.jpg Can-Do campers learn about emergency safety: PHOTOS

    Patches and his fire truck “pumper” made a special visit to the Can-Do summer camp.
    Can-Do summer camp, held at the Disability Action Center, is a week-long camp that is intended for individuals with disabilities. Wednesday began with a lesson about emergency safety.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • Korean War Memorial seeks funds from county commission

    The Korean War Memorial was suggested to be completed in phases.
    Marion County Development office director Charlie Reese was assigned to review and make a recommendation on what steps the memorial needs to complete to earn more funding. During the last meeting, the Korean War Memorial project had requested $8,000.

    July 24, 2014

  • Fairmont reaching out in new ways

    The city of Fairmont is starting to try to reach out to residents in new ways.

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads