- AIDT, Alabama's state workforce development agency, is expanding its partnership with Hyundai Power Transformers (HPT) to provide access to virtual reality (VR) manufacturing training to unemployed workers and those who aspire to join the manufacturing industry, according to the Feb. 2 press announcement.
- In the program, learners will have access to a VR simulation of "HPT's seven-story manufacturing facility," according to the release. "Within the simulation, workers gain first-hand invaluable experiences with the safety protocols required to operate heavy machinery and equipment of up to 400 tons, lifting power transformers as heavy as 800,000 pounds."
- The partnership intends to address Gov. Kay Ivey's goal to add 500,000 highly skilled employees to Alabama's workforce by 2025.
The announcement points out the "highly repeatable and consistent" nature of the training — a feature various case studies have illustrated.
VR and augmented reality (AR) tech, also known as immersive technology, has especially emerged in industries that require either hefty safety training or customer interfacing, including warehousing, law enforcement and food service. For this reason, immersive tech is "poised for dramatic growth" in the next five years, according to a report from JFFLabs.
"New tools for VR and AR are transforming technical, managerial, and all elements of soft skills training because they create real-world learning experiences that stick," industry analyst Josh Bersin said in a statement accompanying the report.
XPO Logistics, for example, recently released the details of its VR training pilot, citing higher productivity, lower waste and increased safety, as well as "shorter ramp-up times" for new trainees.
While immersive tech may not be for every employer, it may be useful to those that need to train large groups of people for repetitive tasks or need to train for facilities or equipment that are difficult to access, Sandra Marshall, a leader on Booz Allen Hamilton's immersive team, previously wrote for HR Dive.