Representatives from the NYS Department of Labor recently visited Mr. Sheldon’s eighth grade technology classes at the middle school to discuss different career paths.
Using virtual reality headsets, students were able to get a glimpse of high-demand careers, such as those in manufacturing, robotics, welding, public safety, hospitality, automotive, solar panels, line workers and healthcare.
“I liked doing it,” said one eighth-grader, who tried automotive. “It demonstrated what it was like to really do the job.”
Bringing virtual reality into classrooms is a new initiative from the NYSDOL to bring career training and career exploration to New Yorkers across the state. They have been partnering with local workforce development boards, career centers, schools, non-profits and businesses to help individuals experience jobs and careers to which they might otherwise never have access.
Students enjoyed taking turns virtually exploring career options. One student assisted with performing knee surgery, another was an EMT assisting at the scene of a car accident.
They learned that some of these industries had “low barriers to entry,” meaning they were easy industries to break into, what the salary ranges were and which offered on-the-job training.
The representatives informed students about the services provided by the Career Centers such as job boards, resume assistance, mock interviews and online training modules to develop and improve skills. These services are free to all New Yorkers, no matter current employment status, level of education or training.
Contact your local career center if you (or someone you know) are looking to further your career.
Capital Region Workforce Development board: capreg.org/job-seekers/
Capital Region Workforce Development Center – Youth: capreg.org/youth/
Rensselaer County Career Center: rensco.com/175/Employment-Training-Assistance