State Grant to Enhance Virtual Reality Training for High-Tech Jobs
(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA • June 8, 2017)—Delaware County Community College, in partnership with the Delaware County Workforce Development Board, has received a $198,067 Strategic Innovation grant from the state to train workers for high-tech jobs of the 21st Century.
The grant was awarded to the Delaware County Workforce Development Board, which acts as the fiscal agent and works in concert with the College. The College will use the grant, which was awarded by the Commonwealth’s Department of Labor and Industry, to further infuse virtual reality and augmented reality into its educational curriculums for an ever-expanding list of fields such as healthcare, skilled trades, advanced manufacturing and advanced technology.
Augmented reality and virtual reality use the latest in technology to create artificial environments that simulate real work environments. The College already utilizes virtual reality to train students in welding. Also, in 2015 the College was the first community college in the nation to acquire a LapSim®, a cutting-edge, virtual laparoscopic training simulator that helps students studying in perioperative nursing, registered nurse first assistant, surgical technology and other medical programs.
“With the help of the Delaware County Workforce Development Board, Delaware County Community College will utilize this grant to further improve its cutting-edge, technologically advanced training for the high-tech jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Dr. Jerry Parker, president of Delaware County Community College.
The College has a state-of-the-art STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Complex, consisting of the STEM Center and a free-standing 32,000-square-foot Advanced Technology Center with the type of high-tech equipment used in advanced manufacturing, as well as state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratory space.
The Delaware County Workforce Development Board was one of 10 workforce development boards in Pennsylvania that received a total of $2 million in Strategic Innovation grants. The grants, which come from state Reemployment Fund resources, are designed to encourage creativity and innovation.