Library receives grant for skilled-trade job training

Tech trainer Nia tries out the virtual reality head set that is part of the SkillMill job training program.

Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), awarded by the State Library of Ohio, Heights Libraries will offer skilled-trades job training with Interplay Learning virtual reality software and SkillMill’s training platform.

“As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.”

The Interplay Learning pilot program will begin in January 2023. Interplay Learning’s 3D simulations and immersive training modules include expert-led video courses and learning paths to help customers advance their technical skills. The interactive modules provide training in industries, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, construction, and more. Completion of the Interplay Learning modules builds skillsets in high-demand trades and provides industry recognized certifications.

“Our goal is to champion workforce development and become a center for job training resources,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “We are excited to partner with Interplay Learning to provide another career service for the community.”

Interplay Learning’s training modules can be completed using virtual reality headsets at home or in the Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center (HKIC) at Heights Libraries’ Lee Road branch. The modules can also be accessed in 2D with a tablet or computer. Customers who sign up for the Interplay Learning modules will be enrolled for two months before their seat is made available to the next customer.

“Interplay Learning provides a practical, real-world, application of a technology that many people think is just for teens and gamers,” said Continuing Education Manager Heather Howiler. “Using VR in this way, helps learners practice and perform tasks and procedures so they are better prepared for real life.”

If customers are new to virtual reality or want to learn more about Interplay Learning, Heights Libraries staff will be available to demonstrate the VR technology and Interplay Learning platform at the following informational sessions in the HKIC:

• Tuesday, January 10, 6 p.m.
• Friday, January 20, 2 p.m.
• Tuesday, February 7, 2 p.m.
• Friday, February 17, 2 p.m.

“Our main goal is to provide important in-demand skilled trades training to our customers,” said Howiler. “We also hope this training will help homeowners learn how to fix a leaky faucet and take on other home improvement projects with confidence.”

Customers interested in enrolling in courses using Interplay Learning software can visit or call the HKIC Desk at (216) 932-3600 ext. 1221 or email the staff at techexpert@heightslibrary.org. Access to the modules will begin on January 23. Get more info.

3 comments on “Library receives grant for skilled-trade job training

  1. It would be great if there were also evening sessions available, like a 7pm start time. I hope that you will have more future sessions in the evening to attend. Happy New Year.

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