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Interplay Learning | Accelerating Impact with JFFLabs

Better paths to skill development, employment, and career advancement for the skilled trades, strengthening the talent pipeline for 40M U.S. jobs.

January 21, 2020

At a Glance

Better paths to skill development, employment, and career advancement for the skilled trades, strengthening the talent pipeline for 40M U.S. jobs.

Contributors
Steve Yadzinski Vice President
Tyler Nakatsu Director, Communications, JFFLabs
Doug Donovan, CEO and co-founder, Interplay Learning

The skilled trades industry is facing a looming shortage of skilled labor. It is estimated that 60 percent of the people in the U.S. skilled trades workforce will retire in the next decade. Traditional training programs alone won’t be able to fulfill the industry’s demand for trained workers.

Interplay Learning offers an online skilled trades training platform called SkillMill that features a catalog of on-demand video-based lessons, 3D simulations, and VR-enabled training scenarios. The company offers both off-the-shelf and highly scalable custom solutions to solve workforce training challenges. More than 75,000 people have used Interplay systems to learn new skills.

Interplay’s main objective is to offer a new and better path to skill development, employment, and career advancement for the hands-on workforce and thereby strengthen the talent pipeline for the 40 million U.S. jobs that require training in the trades.

In November 2019, Interplay Learning coordinated an HVAC “mini camp” for the city of Miami’s Pathway to Prosperity program with WATSCO, a distributor of air conditioning, heating and refrigeration equipment and related parts and supplies in the HVAC/R industry. The goal was to train 50 low-to-moderate-income people so they’d be qualified to pursue careers as skilled technicians. The program was modeled on a similar program that Interplay successfully coordinated earlier in 2019 with Labor Finders. All passed “Ready to Work Exam” after the training – Watsco – Miami – 10 Pass NATE Ready to Work Cert. Such programs reach students who normally may not have access to training that enables them to improve their skills quickly and advance into better-paying careers.

Interplay Learning will work with JFFLabs to translate and validate their value set around equity and diversity to pilot in select American Job Centers in markets with high need for skilled trades. Building on WATSCO pilot, the teams will focus on ways to increase onramps for low- and middle income people of color in skilled trades using Interplay Learning for “bootcamp” training.

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