Ironworkers News Archive

2018  |  2019

How Skills and Technology Converge in Construction - (11/25/2019)

The lifeblood of any organization lies in its ability to attract and retain talented people, and it is no different for the Ironworkers Local No. 404.  Ensuring resources are available to attract those interested in the construction industry, we continually strive to find and stay ahead of emerging trends.  That can be a challenge, but we have found mobile gaming is one of the hottest trends in any industry specific to workforce development to raise awareness.

In the third episode of our three-part workforce development webinar series entitled Three Ways Skills and Technology Converge in Construction, we invited Dave Daquelente, former executive director of the Ironworkers Employers Association of Western Pennsylvania and Jessica Trybus, founder of Simcoach Games to address technology’s impact on attracting a new generation to our industry.

From virtual reality to interactive training documents, technology is widely utilized in today’s training.  These new tools have broadened the training efforts as well as led to a more productive workforce and lowered training and workers compensation costs along the way.  While the acceptance of technology in apprenticeship and journeymen training continues, one of the biggest opportunities for Local 404 lies in smartphone use.

81% of Americans own a smartphone, which provides a platform to educate while entertaining at the same time.  Of those smartphone owners, 73 percent play mobile games generating nearly 62 million game downloads annually.  Utilizing smartphones to weave education and entertainment together in the form of mobile games drives awareness, improves skills and reinforces the need for safety to potential apprentices.  This is a viable opportunity for attracting future generations to the construction industry.

Simcoach Games has developed a variety of mobile games that introduces young people to the construction industry and the Ironworking category.  The advantage of this approach lies in the opportunity for people to gain insight into an industry on their own time, at their leisure and with a comfortable device.  More important, the games are fun.

Mobile games are only the beginning as robotics and artificial intelligence expand opportunities to educate those interested in construction.  Local 404 is excited to bring these opportunities to market while serving as leaders in the industry to developing future ironworkers in methods beyond the traditional approach.  To learn more, visit the conversation recap here.


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