State Superintendent Visits Vocational School | News, Sports, Jobs

TL Photos/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK ABOVE: Ohio State Schools Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, left, visits the Belmont Harrison Vocational School District for Vocational Technical Education Month. He asked about the training and courses offered and how the students were prepared for the future.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont Harrison Vocational School District hosted a visit Friday from Ohio State Schools Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, marking Vocational Technical Education Month.

DeMaria interviewed the school board and Superintendent Richard Schoene about school operations, courses offered and what the future may hold. He toured the building and met teachers and students. He also consulted the projects in progress.

Newly elected Ohio Rep. Don Jones, R-Marietta, also took the opportunity to attend.

Schoene described the construction trades, internship and job placement programs, adding that many of the courses focus on jobs in the oil and gas sector. He added that the ethane cracker project at Dilles Bottom is taken into account during the training.

DeMaria also asked about the school’s partnerships with businesses. Schoene said they consider input from area businesses when training students and purchasing equipment.

“The opportunities are huge right now, because of all the oil and gas coming into the region and the fallout,” Schoene said, adding that registrations have remained largely the same over the past few years.

DeMaria noted that students also have the option of pursuing graduate studies.

“The beauty of the career tech experience is that you walk away with those academics. You’re as prepared for college as other students, but you also have that perspective on that professional skill set,” he said.

Board member Roger Stewart, representing the Bridgeport School District, spoke about preparing students for a changing world.

“This whole area was made up of steel mills and coal mines. We have seen the downfall of that because the mills are gone,” said Stewart. “We have to think outside the box, with these new jobs coming. This cracking plant will open many opportunities for the polymer industry with plastics. Oil and gas. Many of these jobs are high tech… Tech schools are going to think outside the box. “What are the upcoming jobs? What are we going to prepare these young students for? »

“We have to think about the future” DeMaria said, adding that technical schools are faced with the task of providing short-term training jobs in construction, as well as future trades.

Dan Lucas, Union Local School District representative, added that the classes also provide an opportunity for students with disabilities or special needs to thrive and thrive.

“I always appreciate good leadership,” DeMaria said afterwards. “They seem to be really forward thinking about the needs of the business community. What are the needs of the local economy? How can they actually benefit their children and ensure they succeed. … It really is applied learning. When you get your hands on a car and replace an engine, you now understand why you have to think about hydraulic pressure and electrical current and how the different parts interact.

DeMaria visited automotive and mechanic classes, as well as welding and carpentry classes.

He visited technical schools throughout the day.

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