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

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 or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • EASTER BUNNY -TSA.jpg Children with disabilities enjoy hunting for Easter eggs: PHOTOS

    Thousands of brightly colored plastic eggs lined the halls at the Disability Action Center (DAC) at 102 Benoni Ave. in Fairmont Saturday.
    There were eggs on tables and doorknobs, in the gym and on the handrails. There were eggs for everyone.

    April 20, 2014 8 Photos

  • photo.jpg Sanders seeks ‘second chance at life’: VIDEO

    For more than half of his life, Morris Morrison has had to visit his father at the Mount Olive Correctional Facility.
    That’s where holidays, like today, have been spent. Birthdays. That’s where letters, gifts and photographs are addressed to. That’s the postmark on Christmas cards and other correspondence Charles “Chuckie” Sanders sends to family and friends. And it’s been that way for 20 years.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • McKinley, Gainer are candidates for Congress

    Those who will represent their respective parties on the general election ballot for the 1st Congressional District have already been decided.
    It is one of the few partisan races that will not need to be decided by the Tuesday, May 13 primary election as there are only one Republican and one Democrat vying for the seat.

    April 20, 2014

  • ‘Winter burn’ hits some state plants

    A harsh winter has caused some plants to be burned.
    West Virginia University Extension experts call this damage “winter burn.” It can be found on boxwood plants, a common but non-native plant in West Virginia.

    April 20, 2014

  • erin autism 1.jpg East Dale student, loyal to twin brother, promotes autism awareness

    Erin Pride, 12, is a sixth-grader at East Dale Elementary School.
    She likes to play basketball, is a Girl Scout and just started learning the clarinet for school band.
    This Christmas, she received a rubber band bracelet loom. Rubber brand bracelets are very popular, and she started making bracelets and trading them at school.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tuesday deadline for voter registration

    The deadline for new voters to register before the May 13 primary is fast approaching.
    Residents have until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday to go to a government office, such as the county clerk’s office or the DMV, and fill out a voter registration card.

    April 19, 2014

  • Swimming Challenge available for children with autism

    The Corridor Chapter of the Autism Society of West Virginia (AS-WV) and the YMCA of Clarksburg will be sponsoring the second annual Swimming Challenge for children affected by autism.
    The swimming challenge gives children with autism the opportunity to attend swimming lessons and work on their swimming skills one-on-one.

    April 19, 2014

  • CASA Superhero 5K set for April 26

    The second annual CASA Superhero 5K will be held April 26 in Fairmont.
    The event is at East Marion (Wave Pool) Park and is an annual fundraiser for CASA programs in Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Preston counties.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041814 Fishing 2.jpg Fun, prizes mark annual event at Curtisville Lake

    An annual family fishing event begins at 9:30 a.m. today.
    The Marion County Parks and Recreation Commission and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources are having the annual Family Fishing Day. The event will take place today at Curtisville Lake, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. and prizes being given away at 10:30 a.m.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police: Shooting of boy accidental

    A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.
    On Wednesday, April 9, at 7:52 p.m., police were dispatched to a Fairmont residence after an 11-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound inside the home.

    April 18, 2014

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