Construction Groups See Recruitment, Training Potential in Games

In recent years, construction groups have added a new tool to their arsenal—mobile games that aim to both entertain and teach potential new recruits to the industry.

With an eye to cracking the job shortage nut, associations in the construction industry are increasingly trying to turn their industry’s work into a matter of play.

And yes, you’ll find these games where you download your apps.

The latest to get in on the game training strategy is the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota, which recently launched a game as part of its “Build South Dakota” recruitment campaign. The game, also doubling as an awareness tool, analyzes the different elements of a highway construction project through a series of mini-games, multimedia features, and assessment tools.

While the game is focused on the fun factor, the association has hopes of putting folks into the real world. The association aims at offering training that could be used in a real work environment, as well as convincing younger people to consider construction as a career. That speaks to an issue that causes headaches for the construction industry at large. In comments to the Argus Leader, Dustin Baertsch, the state association’s construction careers coordinator, emphasizes that bringing new blood into the industry was very much a challenge in South Dakota.

“There’s a lot of contractors that can’t take on more work because they don’t have the bodies to do the job,” Baertsch says. “We don’t have that pipeline to fill the positions.”

Other associations have also worked on apps like this, even teaming with the same vendor, Simcoach Games. In 2016, the vendor created an app for the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania aimed at teaching construction workers about tactics to use to avoid fall risks, and in 2014, the Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania launched a “virtual pre-apprenticeship” app called Future Road Builders.

Construction may not be all fun and games, but these apps are helping to close the divide.

(Build South Dakota)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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