BLOOMINGDALE – As with almost everything during the ongoing pandemic, the adult education programs at the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School had to adapt.
Rich Wilinski, the program coordinator, hopes security measures and new classes will bring people back into the programs in the upcoming term.
While understanding the concerns about COVID-19, Wilinski wants everyone on the fence to know that security precautions have been taken throughout the JVS, including the adult programs, and he believes the staff did an admirable job of keeping one create safe environment.
“We certainly understand that people are concerned about COVID. We understand that people may be uncomfortable.” he said. “The joint vocational school has done a great job preventing the spread of COVID-19.
“They disinfect the building every day, they spray the building every day, all classrooms, all desks, all offices. Every classroom is equipped with hand sanitizer. We encourage social distancing. We ask everyone to wear a mask.
“The JVS has taken all precautions to protect everyone in the building. You take all necessary steps and follow all protocols. Speaking to Superintendent Todd Phillipson, they only had one case of COVID in the student body and that was early last year. I think those who want to take courses may feel a little better knowing this. “
Wilinski has been at the top for three years, but the programs themselves date from the 1970s. However, enrollment has been declining since the pandemic began.
“Usually our voter turnout is very, very good, but it has decreased since the COVID.” Said Wilinski. “Even the last term in office, which we had from September to November, was a little bit down. We really encourage people that this is a good evening when they feel a little included and can’t do anything to enjoy with people who have the same interests as them. “
Classes take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the evenings, with each class taking place once a week. Some classes are one session while others meet up to eight times. Classes start on January 19th. Classes begin in stages, beginning in March.
“We offer a variety of computer, commercial, and industrial programs and a range of courses for special interests.” he said. “There is a tuition fee for some courses and not for others. Some courses require a fee for deliveries. For example, a decorative painting course requires a fee for tuition and supplies, while a handmade greeting card course is a free course but costs $ 40 for cost.
“We have a basic electricity course if you want to learn how to fix a lamp or rewire an outlet or something. We have a small engine repair class, so instead of taking your lawnmower to a repair shop, you can repair it yourself or even in the classroom. “ Wilinski explained.
According to Wilinski, the program has something for everyone and is constantly updating its offerings – including the first-time addition of a cooking class starting January 20.
“We’re offering different courses, we’ve added some courses, we’re just trying to get the community interested.” he said. “It is constantly evolving with new courses. We try to evaluate the program every semester and add new courses. We try to go with what people might find interesting. “
Some classes are simply learning a new skill or hobby, while others offer valuable use outside of the classroom.
“We offer a guitar course for beginners and beginners.” Said Wilinski. “We have a quilting class that is one of our most popular classes. People will come not just to quilt but to interact with others.
“We have a sign language course that we think is a good one, not just for people wanting to learn to sign, but also for first responders who may get into a situation where they care for someone who doesn’t speak can, but can only sign.
“We think we have a variety of courses with many different uses that a lot of people would be interested in.”
Those interested in enrolling or for more information can continue to do so by calling the JVS at (740) 264-5545 today through Thursday and then between 3pm and 8pm for courses that start later.
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