City of Clinton and School District Utilizing Virtual Reality
City of Clinton leaders announced that Clinton will be piloting a new Virtual Reality business recruitment and workforce development experience to recruit a technology cluster to Central Mississippi and strengthen workforce development efforts with two desired outcomes:
- Utilizing Virtual Reality to create an Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Cluster in Clinton;
- Workforce Development utilizing Virtual Reality in our School District for distance learning, and in training for our businesses.
Using leading edge virtual reality (VR) training solutions from Mississippi based Lobaki, the project will offer new educational and training programs to develop the next generation of highly skilled workers.
Providing high paying jobs in the Technology and Engineering sectors will prevent the brain drain that Mississippi currently experiences. By training the next generation workforce and recruiting new technological investment, Clinton can lead the way in keeping our best and brightest home.
Utilizing 3D modeling and 360 degree camera views, City officials hope to recruit businesses through interactive tools, even as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact business recruitment and learning models across the United States.
Creating a virtual classroom, leaders hope to provide hands on learning experiences, even as distance learning becomes more commonplace.
Gabriel Prado, Director of Economic Development, stated that the project came about in late March just as the Coronavirus pandemic began to halt travel, limiting site visits by companies looking to expand to new markets. Prado began seeking solutions to stay “ahead of the game in recruitment and workforce development efforts.”
“Clinton is focused on the future,” stated Mayor Phil Fisher. “Virtual Reality will help ensure that we are positioned to attract the jobs of tomorrow by educating and training Clintonians today.”
The pilot program highlights the training needed to create the highly skilled workers required to recruit high paying technology sector jobs to Clinton.
Partnering in this Economic Development market disruption effort will be the City of Clinton, Clinton Public Schools, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lobaki Technolgy.
Funded by a $1.5 million allocation from the legislature for technological education equipment that was secured by Speaker Philip Gunn ® of Clinton, the project will open the door for Clinton to lead the way to the workforce of tomorrow.
Clinton Public Schools will be piloting a test program utilizing Virtual Reality during the 2020/21 school year. Moving forward, VR will be an important tool in the training of the next generation of our workforce.
Virtual reality is another opportunity for the Clinton Public School District to lead the way as CPSD enters the eighth year of providing 1 to 1 technology to teachers and students.
Dr. Tim Martin, Superintendent of Clinton Public School District stated that this project is the logical next step in technology based education and distance learning.
“While others (districts) are still trying to get 1 to 1 off the ground, Virtual Reality is that next step of being ahead of the curve,” Martin stated. “We see the potential VR holds for classrooms and hands on training. Once a student puts on the headset, it is like they are in the classroom with the teacher.”
CPSD will pilot the program in several Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) classes beginning with the eighth grade during the 2020/21 school year.
Funding for the pilot program was secured by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn from the state's portion of the CARES Act. Jackson based Lobaki is providing the design and tools necessary to implement the program.
“It is a great privilege for the City and school district to be partnering on such an innovative workforce development initiative,” said Mayor Phil Fisher.
“This Virtual Reality project demonstrates Clinton’s leadership role in developing skill-aligned training programs that help broaden employment and economic opportunities. It will ensure that those entering the workforce are much better prepared to succeed.”
Prado reiterated that the City will focus on addressing new challenges and opportunities that arise as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Economic Development is a team sport. This team will continue to seek innovative solutions to market our City to technology and manufacturing prospects to expand our job market with highly trained employees,” said Gabriel Prado. “We have a shared vision of ensuring Clinton and its citizens are well positioned for a prosperous and inclusive future in the 21st century economy.”