Alabama Associated General Contractors has purchased and donated one of two virtual reality simulators for the Skills Trade Academy at the Riverchase Career Connection Center (RC3), a program designed to advance youth education and fill worker shortages in the construction industry.
AGC committed $100,000 to buying equipment, including the simulator, and wrote a grant as part of its ongoing relationship with RC3, part of the Hoover city school system.
A second simulator was purchased through a grant provided by the Alabama Craft Training Board, a state board that provides funding for craft training in Alabama. Alabama AGC helped draft the bill that was passed by the Alabama Legislature to create this board.
The two virtual reality simulators were delivered to RC3 last week by Tractor Equipment Co. The Kumatsu Worksite Virtual Reality Simulators pair real-time machine controls with virtual technology, allowing a trainee to see, hear and perform real tasks in a controlled environment.
“The simulators are the latest step in AGC’s effort to provide construction students at RC3 the best educational opportunity available within our challenging and rewarding industry,” said Bill Caton, AGC chief operating officer. “Our contractors have been directly involved in every step of development for the program, from conception to funding to design of the instructional environment.”
The 92,000-square-foot Riverchase Career Connection Center opened in 2019. It is made up of five career academies, including skills trades, food and hospitality, cyber innovation, fire and emergency services and health science. The facility serves students from Hoover, Spain Park and Homewood high schools, as well as adults in night classes.