Rumsey Technical Institute preparing its students for workforce


HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. (WDVM) — These may be uncertain economic times, but there is a technical training school in West Virginia where the student body is focused on its future. At the James Rumsey Technical Institute, students are mastering skills such as robotics for the future.

“You learn from your failures and you improve upon them,” said robotics student Chase Snyder. “Eventually you’ll make something that will let you succeed.”

Snyder is part of a simulated workplace program at Rumsey, a classroom structured as if it were an actual technology lab in the real world. It may be in a schoolhouse, but the goal is to replicate what it’s really like to be on the job, including drug testing. These students are focused on collaboration and productivity.

“Not everybody thinks the same, but it’s because of that that we’re able to make a project work together,” explained Gracie Fox-Zeigler, another robotics student.

Not all of the students are studying robotics. The automotive mechanics program at Rumsey has attracted entrepreneurs with technical skills.

“I’ve always been interested in automotive technology and I’m planning on owning a shop one day, so this is really helping me,” said Ella Anderson, an automotive technology student.

Students like Jacob Brooks are putting skills to work that offer job security and will keep him and his classmates off the unemployment lines.

“Right out of high school I’ll have a decent paying job, so that’s a good benefit of all this,” Brooks said.

Students like Ben Morris are ready to make that transition from classroom workshop to workplace.

“I hope to be a mechanic when I’m older and working on customers’ cars, you know — it’s real life,” Morris said.

These students are experiencing real work life simulated at a technical school. The Rumsey Technical Institute is closing in on a half-century in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Its program features nine adult and 18 high school programs for its student body.

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