AmSkills Wins Big with Mobile VR Career Exploration

A student in a blue shirt using a VR headset and hand controls; a monitor screen in the same shot shows a VR hand in a simulation.

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Part of Transfr’s vision for the future is a world where VR career exploration and VR skills training allow everyone to have upward mobility and find a well-paying job in a high-growth industry. But helping people achieve upward mobility can be a huge struggle if they have real mobility challenges today

That’s the hurdle that AmSkills had to clear, reaching multiple communities in Florida where car ownership was low and bus service in need of expansion. AmSkills CEO Tom Mudano knew there were large groups of people in need of career services who could benefit from the programs he and his team had put together — the problem was reaching them!

AmSkills’ determination to reach people plus the portability of Transfr’s VR career exploration and skills training simulations created a powerful combination that’s helping people right where they’re at: Mobile boot camps travel to communities, VR simulations help people explore new careers (especially in manufacturing), and job seekers and high school students find their own pathways to career success. 

Meeting people where they’re at with VR career exploration

For many people, not having a car makes it harder to get a job and vice-versa. In communities with limited mobility options, job seekers can often find themselves stuck in a cycle where they lack the ability to go where services are available, and thus never receive the help they need to get out of their situation. 

The first step on a career success journey is to figure out what job you want. That was where Tom and company wanted to start with their mobile boot camps.

“The fact that there’s little to no chance to explore different careers is a big problem in society today,” Tom says. “AmSkills Career Discovery Bootcamps allow the people we serve to explore different careers — and the Transfr system provides even more opportunity to show careers that we might not be able to provide in the program otherwise.”

Mobile Bootcamps bring a suite of services to various locations, taking candidates through a two-week, hands-on, highly interactive program. Instructors use community centers, schools, and even manufacturing facilities, leading sessions on soft skills and interviewing, with an eye towards connecting them with local employers, especially in Tampa’s resurging manufacturing sector. Mobility is a huge part of what makes this program so successful and the portability of Transfr’s VR career exploration simulations broadens the possibilities of what Tom and team can offer.

Virtual simulations, real results

VR training and career exploration simulations allow programs like AmSkills (or anyone) to bring a wide array of experiences anywhere there’s room — no special equipment needed or facilities! Tom says that the ability to help people explore a variety of careers without the need for specialized tools is a huge part of what makes the Mobile Bootcamps successful.

“Transfr’s VR system lets people work with sometimes-dangerous equipment in a safe setting. We don’t have to bring in an expensive piece of equipment, because they can do it virtually.”

VR career exploration also gives Bootcamp attendees exposure to a wider range of careers than they might have previously considered. Broadening horizons is one of the most powerful things this technology can do for job seekers. VR skills training also helps Bootcamp graduates step onto future work sites better prepared for the real world challenges they’ll encounter there.

This program has been so successful with adults that Tom and the team have also brought Transfr into high schools. Matching young people with VR is always a winner and the response amongst Tampa students has been heartening, Tom says:

“We’re putting Transfr into classrooms. We’re seeing students hurrying to finish their work so they can get on the VR system. Today’s youth grew up on video games… being able to reach them through a platform that they’re used to is great.”

A bright future for the Sunshine State

Manufacturing is surging back to life in the US and Tampa is one location where well-paying jobs in this crucial industry are going unfilled. With programs like AmSkills, local job-seekers can explore the different aspects of roles in the Manufacturing world and get started on their personal training pathways. 

The goal for Transfr and AmSkills is to get as many people as possible from pools of undiscovered talent into solid jobs in high-growth fields. AmSkills is meeting the people of Tampa right where they’re at and changing lives every day.

Picture of Katelyn Cutshall
Katelyn Cutshall
Katelyn Cutshall, VP of Economic Development and Government Affairs at Transfr, is on a mission to create a classroom-to-career pathways for job seekers by developing workforce ecosystems across the US. Katelyn has received the Economic Development Association of Alabama’s “Young Professional of the Year” award as well as Birmingham Business Journal‘s “Rising Leader in Education, Workforce Development” and “Top Future Leaders in Key Industries” awards.