MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork)Remote learning is tough in a regular school but it presents a unique challenge to vocational schools.

As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reports, vocational teachers at Lincoln Tech have found creative ways to adapt their lessons, and quickly.

“It actually works out really well now. They’re in smaller groups. Same training, but in smaller groups, and enjoying it. We used to have 20 kids in a group doing practical, now we have 10 or seven on two shifts a day,” said auto instructor Bill DeVries.

The school cleans every surface twice a day to accommodate the extra classes. And students are more focused because nearly 90% have job offers before they graduate.


“Every single one of my students became essential workers the moment COVID-19 hit. Auto mechanic, machinist, HVAC technicians – they are all working through COVID,” said Robert Paganini.

“A typical school is remote learning, but you can’t remote learn how to fix a car,” Overmyer said.

“Oh year, you definitely need hands on,” a student named Fadi said. “Oil changes and all that, that’s the easy [part]. I’m trying to learn how to fix tires, fix the engine, everything. These guys help me a lot.”

It’s the type of training that can’t be replicated online. So when their doors reopened in July, students lined up for the year-long program.

“The hands-on aspect is what we do. It’s imperative for our student success, and we knew that was our priority,” said Paganini.

The transition time is made faster by physical classes taking them directly to the workforce.

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