SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Education’s Simulated Workplace program has helped land two more students full-time jobs right out of school.

Darion Doering, 22, and Hunter Parsons, 18, both of Hurricane, are students Putnam Career and Technical Center but are now employees at Dutch Miller in South Charleston.

“I am so happy I made this decision,” Doering said. “I have a bunch of buddies who recently got out of college and have tried to figure out what they are doing. They have no money and I have been here and have been making more money than I have in a while.”

Doering and Parsons work as full-time mechanics at the shop.

The program, created in 2013, and now partners with more than 1,200 companies in 125 schools to give students hands-on learning and training through career technical education.

Jake Flatley/

The two work as service mechanics.

Once the program is completed, students can easily transition to the real world.

“There’s so much more to develop and work,” Parsons said of his job. “You constantly have old cars and new cars, everything from oil changes to rotations to pulling out engines and doing major suspension work.”

The pair work under Jeremy Slaughter, a Service Manager at Dutch Miller.

Slaughter said Dutch Miller enjoys the program and there is always a need for service mechanics.

“People are always going to have cars, they will always have transportation, they will always need work,” he said. “We have to keep people in this field to be able to handle our customers and be able to repair the vehicles of our customers.

“As long as we can continue this program, we will continue to participate in it.”

The program aims to keep students in West Virginia after graduation.

According to the WVDE, 95-percent of the program’s finishers have entered higher education or gone straight to the workforce.