Students gained perspective about career opportunities through a unique lens at Edison High School.
Officials from Ohio Means Jobs Jefferson County brought the TRANSFR virtual reality program to the campus on April 27 and students explored job prospects during an activity in the school gym. The program offers hands-on simulations and a training curriculum that gives students a modern form of career exploration. According to the TRANSFR website, the simulations deliver customized experiences that can help train students at any experience level. Users progress at their own pace through a training curriculum built on experiences from real-world experts in a variety of fields including manufacturing, construction and automotive to healthcare and public safety.
More than a dozen seniors in Paul Baker’s Job Ready course donned virtual headsets and selected among a variety of jobs, then they could perform tasks such as auto maintenance and taking blood pressure. Mike Cernansky, job developer and outreach mentor with Ohio Means Jobs Jefferson County, was joined by Kelcea Danielson, CCMEP case manager, and outfitted teens with the VR headgear while explaining how to operate the equipment. Cernansky said the state-of-the-art system was a new concept and a fun way to inspire the students.
“The whole point of the program is to expose others to different types of careers. We’ve been getting into schools over the last couple of weeks and maybe next year we can try to get them into all the schools in the county,” he commented. “It’s a new process for us and might lead students into a career.”
“It also gives them an interactive introduction into what they want to be doing,” added Danielson.
Baker said his Job Ready course focuses on the district’s goal to prepare students for tomorrow by ensuring they have interview skills, resumes and options for Armed Forces, college and other opportunities. Fourteen seniors take part in the class while he also teaches a career exploration course for grades 9-12 to help those pupils narrow down their choice of pathways. He said the TRANSFR program was a bonus to that concept.
“This has been unbelievable. Edison’s mission statement is ‘Enrolled, Enlisted and Employed,’ and this can give them an idea of what it’s like to become employed right out of high school in different fields.”
Many students selected the healthcare program during the activity, which he said would always be a thriving field in the area. He thanked Cernansky and Ohio Means Jobs Jefferson County for bringing the experience to the school and said it was a great benefit to the youth.
Seniors Dylan Barker and Anna Wadas enjoyed the high-tech exploration and said it was a great way to view career pathways.
“I thought it was a really interesting program that gives us a different look at actual careers,” said Barker. “My actual field of interest is computer science, so robotics was the closest program. I thought it was a good field to be in and you feel like you are doing the work yourself.”