Future Construction Workers Engaged and Prequalified through Games

A suite of games, videos, and assessment tools is helping build awareness and close the skills gap for the growing number of quality careers in highway construction. In partnership with Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania (CAWP), Ladders of Opportunity, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Simcoach Games has developed the Future Road Builders game. This game addresses a concerning talent gap seen by employers by allowing people to explore the field and develop skills.

Future Road Builders doesn’t just provide games, it also comes with a dashboard that provides an avenue for connecting companies with potential employees. The dashboard provides organizations with data-based insights into who is using the game. Insights include what region players are in, what interests they have, and what aptitudes they have shown. Additionally, organizations can license the ability to send targeted messages to specific audiences based on players’ zip codes.

According to the Simcoach website, the combination of game design techniques with proven learning principles results in a solution that, “requires less time to deliver, increases retention for learners, and measurably improves a defined outcome.”

A pilot project with the Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers is demonstrating the power of gamification. The pilot is about three quarters of the way through the 2018 apprenticeship application process, but preliminary numbers are being tabulated.

Chris Seidler, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Simcoach Games points out, “the goals of Future Road Builders were to increase the number of prequalified applicants, female applicants, and minority applicants into Western Pennsylvania apprenticeship opportunities . Initial statistics indicate very promising results in accomplishing those goals.”

The early numbers demonstrate that playing Future Road Builders not only helped draw people into the apprenticeship program, but it also helped better prepare applicants as they moved through the process. While overall, 26% of all applicants had played Future Road Builders, the game did a good job engaging women and minorities to apply. Among the minority applicants who were selected to interview, 40% had played Future Road Builders, and among the women who were selected to interview, 45% had played the game.

Another one of Simcoach’s games has been regionally customized for South Dakota. Build South Dakota: The Game is a virtual pre-apprenticeship experience. In it, the player explores the different phases of a highway construction project and uncovers the skills needed to be a Carpenter, Pile Driver, Concrete Finisher, Skilled Laborer, Heavy Equipment Operator, and Inspector.

For more information, you may also like this interview with Simcoach Games founder, Jessica Trybus, on Venture Beat or visit simcoachgames.com