The demand for a more work ready employee among West Virginia business and industry leaders continues to grow. It is clear in today’s workforce that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical (STEM) skills, along with attendance, drug free, team work and professionalism are critical skills required to be a work ready employee. Through the Simulated Workplace initiative, students will be immersed within an engaging work place environment which offers support in addition to rigorous training while developing the necessary skill sets to be a next generation work ready employee.

The West Virginia Department of Education has worked with a committee of experts in career and technical education, higher education, in addition to numerous business and industry experts to design the Simulated Workplace environment protocols and expectations.

Simulated Workplace programs introduce students to various business processes using twelve distinct measurement areas. These areas are proven to be essential to the success of many companies both locally and internationally. Through the West Virginia Simulated Workplace Program, the state will use the Balanced Scorecard measurement tool along with input from local business and industry experts to identify effective career CTE programs that meet the needs of tomorrow’s workforce. Integrating these authentic business practices statewide will give every student access to the necessary skills sets, certifications and academics needed to be successful.

To be eligible as a Simulated Workplace school or program, each county or school must identify a Simulated Workplace team. Each Simulated Workplace team must include, but is not limited to the county Superintendent(s), CTE Director and/or Administrator, Counselor, and program instructor(s). A random drug testing policy must be developed and adopted, which ensures a minimum of forty percent of students enrolled in the participating program(s) and/or school will be tested each school year. Additional requirements include time clocks, computer access, submittal of quarterly and annual reports, student portfolios, participation in the application and interview process for incoming students, student evaluations and company processes and protocols as outlined within the Simulated Workplace operational manual.