Interactive Lesson Prepares Students for Workforce 

Some modern day teaching methods don’t require a teacher at all.”It’s definitely something about ten years ago you would just dream of seeing,” said Dustin Howard, a student at Penobscot Job Corps Academy.Howard came to find out that, in some cases, a learning environment with no books can teach the best lessons of all.”I didn’t know a thing about welding when I got here.”Welding 101 isn’t really an option at Penobscot Job Corps.Instead, the vocational school puts you right to work by simulating what a day on the job would be like.”It shows people who do not know how to weld exactly what the main idea is. You look around, it’s all 3-D,” said Howard.The school bought this welding simulator, last year. They’re the first in New England to use it as part of a curriculum.”It shows you the right angles, the right speed,” said Howard.It even tells you when you’ve made a mistake or done something right. The only thing it couldn’t tell you was exactly what the state’s Labor Commissioner, Robert Winglass, came to find out.”The number of graduates that they have in these various programs is not an overwhelming number but it’s a decent number,” said Winglass.He toured the school to see what they’re doing to help offset the state’s unemployment rate.”There are many, many jobs available where we can’t find a match between someone who has the necessary skills and the job openings.”And while he didn’t fare so well on the simulator himself, he gave good marks on the school’s efforts, which have helped transform a classroom into a potential career path.”This Job Corps site is in fact satisfying some of that job requirement,” said Winglass.