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Hyundai Launches VR Training Initiative to Grow Manufacturing Talent in Alabama

AIDT, Alabama’s state workforce development agency, today announced a statewide program in collaboration with Hyundai Power Transformers (HPT), the division of Hyundai Electric Systems that specializes in the manufacture of power transformers used in electrical grids across the U.S. Built in collaboration with immersive learning startup TRANSFR, the partnership is making job training in one of Alabama’s fastest-growing industries accessible to thousands of unemployed workers and aspiring manufacturing professionals across the state.

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“It’s providing employers like us with a powerful new tool to train, recruit, and hire talent right here in Alabama.”

“This is an application of VR technology that extends well beyond what many of us are familiar with from gaming or consumer apps. It’s about harnessing the potential of immersive learning to train and certify employees on critical, in-demand skills at unprecedented scale,” said Tony Wojciechowski, Chief Human Resource Officer at HPT. “It’s providing employers like us with a powerful new tool to train, recruit, and hire talent right here in Alabama.”

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According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the manufacturing sector accounts for 17% of Alabama’s total economic output (nearly $38 billion as of 2018) and 13% percent of the state’s jobs (271,000 total jobs as of 2019). The latest collaboration between AIDT and HPT, a partnership that dates back more than a decade, is helping to address part of the ambitious state economic development goal set by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey in 2018 to add 500,000 highly skilled employees to Alabama’s workforce by 2025.

“By putting this powerful solution in the hands of employers like HPT, we’re helping them to make good on their commitment to hire Alabama residents for good-paying manufacturing jobs,” said Ed Castile, deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and Executive Director, AIDT. “This is about not just meeting the training and safety needs of industry partners, but also creating a repeatable and cost-efficient approach that can be applied in the context of other heavy industries, such as aviation and shipbuilding.”

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