Hancock County

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Simulated workforce program for students

Updated: Wednesday, September 4 2013, 06:16 PM EDT

By Jennifer Black


Students at the John D. Rockefeller Career Center in New Cumberland are getting a taste of what it is like to work in the real world without leaving the classroom.

About 200 students at the career center in New Cumberland are taking part in a simulated workforce pilot program. 

“When they come in they're gonna have to punch in a time clock.  Its' a facial scan time clock,” director of secondary curriculum Martin Hudek said.  “They're going to have their own company, name it and have uniforms.”

Students in programs like health occupations, automotive technology and carpentry will participate.

Devin O'Rourke hopes to get a job one day as a civil engineer, and said this program is giving him the tools to take away new a new skill set for the workforce.

“It's better than going out there and not really knowing what the job is like.  You get the chance to get a feel for it, and it helps you out,” O’Rourke said.

At some point throughout the year, 40 percent of the students will be randomly selected to take drug tests.

Seniors have the option to request being tested, and if they pass, they can receive a certificate to include in their portfolios do show potential employers.

"I volunteered for one, and it looks good on your records,” O’Rourke said.

In speaking with area businesses, Hudek said it was a major concern of employers to find viable employees.

“It is No. 1 on their list, trucking companies, doesn't matter who they are.  Their No. 1 concern is that they have a significant percentage of qualified applicants who do not pass the drug test,” Hudek said.

If a student fails the drug test, they will not be removed from classes or the program, but they will be required to participate in counseling sessions.

All career and technical schools will learn how the pilot program worked at John D. Rockefeller Career Center, and be required to implement the simulation program next year.

Simulated workforce program for students

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