New virtual reality location to help train construction workers

Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa opened a new facility that includes a virtual...
Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa opened a new facility that includes a virtual reality trailer to show what a career in construction is like on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. (Phil Reed/KCRG-TV9)(KCRG)
Published: Oct. 10, 2017 at 5:59 PM CDT
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A new virtual reality could help solve the real world problem of not enough skilled workers. Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa opened its new Hiawatha Facility on Hawkeye Drive Tuesday.

ABC of Iowa said they needed a bigger space for hands on training.

ABC of Iowa also showed off their new virtual reality trailer. The trailer will travel across the state to show people, specifically high school students, what it's like to have a career in the construction field. There are various graphics and virtual reality videos inside the trailer.

ABC of Iowa is a trade group offering apprenticeships in sheet metal, electrical HVAC and plumbing. The program lets people work during the day and attend classes at night.

The group says there is a growing demand for skilled workers in Iowa with baby boomers starting to retire. They hope this bigger facility and virtual reality trainer will be part of the solution.

“There's a lot of openings that need to be filled by the younger generation. And quite some time there the younger generation in high schools the construction career really wasn't highlighted as an option,” said Ginny Shindelar.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds toured the facility Tuesday during the open house. She declared October careers in construction month.