Thursday, August 20, 2015

Serious Games Promoting Careers In Highway Construction Industry

As part of the Future Road Builders interactive pre-apprenticeship program, the Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania (CAWP) in partnership with SimCoach Games have launched three new releases to promote careers in the highway construction trades:

Reinforcers is a rebar tying game where players learn and practice the basic methods for three different types of rebar ties; Excavator  lets you practice the skills needed to be a real life machinery operator; Traffic Control is another game that promotes careers in highway construction and educate the public about safely navigating highway construction zones.

The games are available for Android and iPhone, and can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

Future Road Builders is a Serious Game that introduces players to highway construction careers, allowing them to experience what it might be like to work as a carpenter, cement mason, laborer, heavy equipment operator, and pile or truck driver.

A virtual tour guides players through eight major phases of an actual construction project in Western Pennsylvania. As players progress, they immerse in real highway construction scenarios, getting a better understanding of the industry and uncovering the skills they will need for a career in highway construction.

The game tracks players’ progress by simulating the hours it takes and the amount of money they could earn during an actual apprenticeship program.

Future Road Builders Background

The CAWP Board of Governors identified a principal threat to the industry – a future skilled construction workforce shortage. The industry offers well-paying jobs and opportunities for advancement, but is often misunderstood by many as being unskilled and a dead-end career choice.

The 20-member Board of highway construction industry leaders based in Western Pennsylvania wanted a dynamic recruitment tool that not only engaged the user, but also presented an unfamiliar career path in an engaging way.

The result of the Board’s initial idea became Future Road Builders, a Serious Game that provides exposure to what it is like to work in the highway construction industry and encourages interested participants to apply to the various local union heavy and highway apprenticeship programs.
The developed solution simulates 4 years of a road and bridge construction project where players gain a general introduction to the industry and awareness to the six crafts and what types of work they perform.

Players learn by interacting with a phase-by-phase progression of a virtual construction project, representative of an actual highway construction project in Western Pennsylvania.

The player’s goal is to earn 4,000 hours, every 1,000 hours representing one year of apprenticeship. The program also features mini-games focused on a particular job, which get more challenging with each earned apprenticeship year. 

When 4,000 virtual hours are earned, the player receives a Certification of Completion, and is ready to apply for one of several union apprenticeship programs in highway construction!

The program is free to all! Just register online and you can start making progress in your interactive pre-apprenticeship.