Groove Jones Helps Be Pro Be Proud Use VR Experiences to Recruit Next-Generation Skilled Workforce
Be Pro Be Proud is a national non-profit spearheading the movement to bring a new generation of pride, progress, and professionals to a state’s skilled workforce. As the current skilled workforce is at or near retirement age, Be Pro Be Proud hopes to change how High School students think about these job opportunities by using exciting, gamified VR experiences.
The Be Pro Be Proud mobile tour is delivered through a 53-foot trailer, filled with interactive experiences highlighting skilled trades.
Groove Jones worked with the Be Pro Be Proud leadership team and state sponsors to create multiple VR experiences. Each VR experience highlights unique skill-based career jobs available within the state. The VR experiences are purposely designed to drive awareness about the specific job and get the students excited about a career by implementing gamification tactics. Over 100,000 students have experienced the initiative.
Play, Learn, See What You Can Earn
The program highlights skilled labor jobs and what you could earn. Groove Jones created a series of VR experiences focusing on key jobs that give the student the chance to step into that job, challenge themselves with tasks, and see what they could have earned in the job.
The VR experience is gamified and has a leveling system that allows students to play and gain skills, improve their scores and earn more. Players receive scores based on how quickly and accurately they perform each task within a challenge.
They are then given a ranking – Foreman, Journeyman, or Apprentice, which has an hourly pay grade. (Each pay grade is customized to the specific state where the student lives.) Their overall score, time, and ranking determine their overall score and total income for the job.
The job experiences focus on skills associated with Plumbing, HVAC, Electrical, Pest Control, and Carpentry. We transport students into a VR simulation world that could be from anywhere in the USA.
Most activities occur in and around a digital High School football stadium. Students can choose from various challenges to play, learn, and see what they can earn.
Challenge: Plumbing Repair in Disaster Plumbing
This module transports students into the coach’s bathroom with a broken pipe. Students face multiple challenges, like removing the drywall with a reciprocating saw, selecting the right pipe to fix, and cutting and replacing the broken pipe without flooding the room.
Students start cutting along the path to remove the drywall.
Determine which pipe to remove.
Make a mistake, and you could end up with serious issues – like an electrical shock or releasing some sewage.
Or you could end up flooding the bathroom.
What a mess.
Better turn off the water pressure to stop the flooding.
A job well done!
Challenge: Carpentry and Pest Control in Carpentry Calamity
This module has a variety of challenges, where students need to take care of a termite problem, remove and install new lockers and repair the wall in the home team’s locker room.
Students need to demo existing lockers where the termite problem is, exterminate the pests, remove drywall, replace a damaged stud and then install new wall lockers.
Every experience begins with putting on safety gear.
Students need to pick up the sledgehammer to remove the older wall lockers.
Once the wall lockers have been removed, students must spray the pests to exterminate the infestation problem.
After the damaged sheetrock has been removed, students must cut out the damaged 2×4 in the wall.
The replacement piece needs to be measured, cut, and then secured.
Once the damaged area has been replaced, the students must install the new wall lockers.
Another job well done!
At the end of the experience, the student finds out how they ranked and what their total income was for the job.
Challenge: Electrical Repair in Check the Fuse
To highlight electrical repair, we take the students above the football field, where they must repair the stadium lights.
They begin by positioning themselves close to the stadium lights using a lift. Where they must test and pull the bad fuses.
The driver has gone bad as well.
They then need to remove the bad bulb and replace it.
After putting in a new lightbulb, they can turn the power back on to see if they have reconnected everything correctly to see their score.
Challenge: HVAC Repair in HVAC Havoc
In HVAC Havoc, the press box’s HVAC system is busted, and it is getting hot up there. Students must replace the unit, add a new thermostat, and caulk a window that is leaking.
After turning off the main power, students must remove the old unit, cut down sheet metal and run new ductwork to finish the new unit installation.
Once finished with the outside unit, the student heads inside the press box to replace the thermostat.
Replace the air filter and caulk the window.
Once complete, the press box is done!
Behind the Production
The Groove Jones team developed the experiences in Unity and installed the software on Meta Quest 2 VR headsets. The entire VR program runs on the GrooveTech platform, a customizable VR platform we developed to deliver scaleable multi-level training programs. As new states are added to the program, we can easily compile a new custom-branded version.
To learn more about GrooveTech and how companies are leveraging it to tap into innovating their training and recruitment programs, visit – https://www.groovejones.com/custom-vr-training-systems
About Be Pro Be Proud
Be Pro Be Proud is a national non-profit spearheading the movement to bring a new generation of pride, progress, and professionals to individual states with a skilled workforce. The program originated in Arkansas and is currently in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, with more in the works.
As the current skilled workforce is at or near retirement age, Be Pro Be Proud hopes to change how students think about these job opportunities. Students that go through the mobile tour workshops register and can learn more about the available careers in their state. The program currently has over 230 employers taking part in the program across five states. For more information about Be Pro Be Proud, visit https://www.beprobeproud.org.