A new virtual reality initiative in Alabama is using upskilling to get students into well-paying diesel tech jobs

This college is using virtual reality to train students and fill skills gaps


A new virtual reality initiative in Alabama is using upskilling to get students into well-paying diesel tech jobs

Wallace State Community College, one of the largest colleges in the Alabama Community College System serving more than 6,000 students, is launching an ambitious new initiative that will harness virtual reality to train thousands of workers for roles in well-paying diesel tech jobs.

Delivered through the college’s popular Diesel by Distance program and built in collaboration with immersive learning startup TRANSFR, the partnership will expand access to career-relevant training and help thousands of working adults launch careers in the fast-growing diesel technology industry.

“As we work to help meet Alabama’s statewide workforce goals and get people into the many skilled trades with unfilled jobs, diesel technology is a key industry facing a serious shortage of talent,” said Dr. Vicki Karolewics, president of Wallace State Community College. “Through this next-generation approach to technical training, we have an opportunity to meet a pressing need for employers, while getting those in search of work into secure and good-paying jobs. The integration of simulation-based technology into this program is helping to generate new interest in the program and the careers in diesel tech, more broadly.”

Diesel by Distance will now feature hands-on virtual reality simulations that recreate the working environment of a diesel technician or mechanic. In the simulations, developed by TRANSFR, students learn, practice, and master skills that are essential to the construction, manufacture, repair, and maintenance of diesel engine vehicles. Because many employers require these technicians to be certified, the program helps to expand career opportunities for workers interested in pursuing diesel technology careers.

Laura Ascione