MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia educators are giving students the opportunity to fine-tune the state’s new career technical learning initiative. 

The state started its “empower collaborative” program in the Calhoun County Middle School and Fayette Counties Midland Trail Middle School. The two schools in the pilot program get hands-on learning in careers and work to solve problems in their communities.  

“We want them to come every day excited about learning. Most importantly though, we want them to be empowered in their learning and that’s what this model offers them,” Kelli Whytsell, superintendent of Calhoun County Schools said. 

On Thursday, the two schools got together with some department of education officials to talk about the good and the bad of the program to improve it in the future.  

“We know that career technical education and that experience of simulated workplace is something that’s been very effective in West Virginia. We’re looking to the future and how we can grow and improve capacity in our workforce but not only that but how we can transform learning to make it more engaging for not only our students but our teachers,” Sara Lewis-Stankus, WV deputy state superintendent said.  

The Department of Education is working to expand the empower program to other counties in the future.