Interplay Learning Interactive
Skilled Trades Training Blog
Whether you’re new on the job or a more seasoned pro looking to advance, Interplay’s field-like 3D simulation training can help you be the kind of tech you want to be – a great one.

Why Your HVAC Training Program isn’t Motivating Your Techs to Up-skill

By Craig Carter on Jun 19, 2019 8:00:00 AM

If you want to know why your HVAC training program isn’t motivating your techs to up-skill, start by taking a look at how engaged they are.

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Streamline HVAC Training With Virtual Reality Enabled Courses

By Craig Carter on Jun 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM

One of the biggest challenges faced by growing HVAC businesses is consistency. Your customers expect the same level of service no matter if you're sending out your most seasoned veteran or the tech you most recently hired.

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Pollinator-Friendly Solar Can Increase Farm Output

By Mark Mrohs on Jun 5, 2019 8:52:29 AM

If you build it (solar), they will come (bees!)

Topics: Solar Fun facts
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6 Ways to Convince Your Boss to Get Online HVAC Training for Your Team

By Craig Carter on Jun 4, 2019 9:41:58 AM

As an HVAC Tech, you’re serious about your career, and you obviously want to get the best training out there. You want to learn new skills, master advanced concepts, and practice your craft until you're a pro.

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2019 Trends in HVAC Technician Continuing Education to Watch for

By Doug Donovan on May 29, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Continuing education has always been an essential component of maintaining an excellent team of HVAC technicians. Ongoing HVAC training helps technicians stay up to date on the latest technology, keeps their skills sharp, reduces on the job mistakes, improves job satisfaction, and boosts retention rates.

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[PRESS RELEASE] Interplay Learning Secures $5.5 Million Series A Financing Round Led By S3 Ventures

By Kristina Bentle on May 21, 2019 9:25:30 AM

The online training firm for skilled trades utilizing virtual reality (VR) and 3D simulations to add talent to its Austin offices, expand its customer success team, pursue additional markets and develop new platform features.

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[PRESS RELEASE] Carrier Collaborates with Interplay Learning to Provide Innovative Virtual Reality Training Modules

By Kristina Bentle on May 20, 2019 11:54:16 AM

Carrier continues to invest in training program to provide resources for dealers and to attract new technicians to the industry.

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6 Reasons Why Including VR in your HVAC Training Program Churns Out Better Techs

By Kristina Bentle on May 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Virtual Reality has quickly evolved from a fun experimental technology, best suited for game-play, to a revolutionary training tool for businesses across all industries.

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Doug Donovan on Why Virtual Realty's Future Is Training

By Craig Carter on May 2, 2019 7:01:44 AM

Interplay's CEO, Doug Donovan, gives insight into the company's history of using simulations to prepare better a skilled workforce and why Virtual Reality will change the way people learn a trade.

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Here’s What VR Has In Common with a Cold Swimming Pool

By Kristina Bentle on May 2, 2019 4:27:26 AM

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Introducing NATE Ready to Work Course for HVAC

By Steve Quirk on May 2, 2019 1:36:00 AM

Are you ready to work in HVAC?

Interplay Learning recently launched a popular, and highly-rated (short) course called HVAC Basics- NATE: Ready to Work.

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Celebrate the First-Ever National Skilled Trades Day

By Kristina Bentle on May 1, 2019 10:56:11 AM

National Skilled Trades Day now has a featured spot on the calendar.

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“Shining Cities”— Which cities are leading the way in solar adoption?

By Mark Mrohs on Apr 11, 2019 3:25:24 PM

Environment America recently released a new report called, “Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America.” Highlighting how cities are leading the way in using solar power, this report gives a surprising accounting of which US cities are considered the “Solar Stars” (ranking solar watts per capita).

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[PRESS RELEASE] Serial Entrepreneur and Tech Veteran, Sam Decker, Joins Interplay Learning Board of Directors

By Kristina Bentle on Apr 8, 2019 12:05:41 PM

Texas-Based Interplay Learning Announces Tech Veteran Sam Decker Joins Board of Directors

Topics: NEWS
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3 Reasons Why the Skilled Trades are Robot-Proof

By Kristina Bentle on Mar 28, 2019 5:07:04 PM

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[PRESS RELEASE] Interplay Learning Transforms HVAC Training with 3D Sims and Virtual Reality Enabled Courses

By Kristina Bentle on Mar 19, 2019 3:00:00 PM

Individuals and companies in the HVAC industry can benefit from this first-of-its-kind online, on-demand training catalog featuring video and 3D simulation training which can be accessed via smartphone, desktop, laptop, tablet or VR-headset. Interplay Learning’s HVAC courses are approved for NATE Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

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Interplay Learning Exhibits at ACCA 2019 and Hosts a VR Party

By Kristina Bentle on Mar 14, 2019 4:30:00 PM

Interplay Learning recently exhibited at the 2019 ACCA Expo and Conference in San Antonio, TX. 

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The Future of Skilled Trades [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Kristina Bentle on Mar 8, 2019 4:00:00 PM

The Skilled Trades industry is undergoing major challengesbut big challenges often bring fruitful opportunities. See what the future holds for aspiring skilled workers in this informative infographic on the future of the skilled trades industry. 

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How Sales Teams get Solar install experience without doing installs

By Mark Mrohs on Mar 6, 2019 3:44:57 PM

The Interplay Learning solar curriculum is full of video lessons and 3D simulations that are perfect for solar installation crew training. And now, it’s no surprise that it’s also getting adopted in the solar industry for sales staff training

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3 Cool Facts You Should Know About Solar

By Mark Mrohs on Feb 16, 2019 11:19:00 AM

With the growing demand for electricity worldwide, Solar Power has quickly become the top renewable energy source to satisfy this global need. There are so many cool and interesting things to know about Solar Power, and we just want to shout it  from the rooftops of where it's installed!

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Some Final Thoughts From the World's Largest 2019 HVACR Expo

By Doug Donovan on Feb 11, 2019 2:28:03 PM

Last month, I attended the AHR Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. It's by far the world's largest HVACR marketplace.

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Earn Your NATE CEUs with Interplay Learning HVAC Courses

By Mark Mrohs on Feb 6, 2019 2:20:50 PM

You can now earn NATE Continuing Education Units or hours (CEUs) when you complete Interplay Learning HVAC courses.

This will help you gain the 16 CEU hours you need to re-certify every two years.

HVAC/R technicians with two or more years of HVAC/R experience can earn installation or service certification in one or more of the 21 specialty areas offered by NATE. Certification requires that the technician passes both the core exam and an installation or service exam for a specialty. But then, you need to earn 16 CEU hours every 2 years.

 

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3 Things Most HVAC Techs Get Wrong About A Gas Furnace

By Kristina Bentle on Jan 31, 2019 6:45:00 PM

A great HVAC tech is well-versed in troubleshooting all industry equipment. But like any special craft, it takes time and experience to be able to really master a skilled trade.

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Branson’s Tech Forecast to Empower the Trades

By Kristina Bentle on Jan 18, 2019 10:47:12 AM

 

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Interplay Learning Helps You Meet New 2019 NABCEP CEU Requirements

By Mark Mrohs on Jan 15, 2019 3:07:00 PM

As previously announced, NABCEP is finally ready to implement their new re-certification requirements starting this month, and Interplay Learning can help -- a lot.

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4 Interesting Facts About the History of HVAC

By Kristina Bentle on Jan 8, 2019 10:20:27 AM

Everyone knows that HVAC systems are an integral part of the home. But did you know that they also have a really interesting history?

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What is Immersive Learning & 4 Cool Effects of Immersion with VR

By Kristina Bentle on Dec 20, 2018 1:49:41 PM

One of the most studied – and interesting aspects of human psychology relates to how we learn. As a child, your mind captures and processes information in a simplified way. However, learning becomes a much more complex process as you age, which is a challenge VR helps address.

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Gamification is here!

By Kristina Bentle on Dec 13, 2018 4:00:00 PM


Are you ready to gamify your training? Now you can approach your courses just like you’re playing an interactive video game! Crush your career goals and level up your skills while having fun! You’ll never be more motivated to continue completing your courses in this online environment! Collect points, compete against other learners and celebrate victory every time you accomplish difficult new skills!  Who says learning has to be boring?

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How Using New Technology Is Like Cannonballing Into A Cold Pool

By Kristina Bentle on Dec 4, 2018 3:49:37 PM

It starts off cold and shocking, but eventually you warm up to it, and the next thing you know, it actually feels pretty normal. That's how using new technology is like cannonballing into a cold pool.

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Interplay Co-Founder Steve Quirk Presents at Milken Institute Future of Work conference

By Steve Quirk on Dec 3, 2018 8:22:56 AM

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Huge News! Earn NABCEP CEU Hours With Our Solar Courses

By Mark Mrohs on Nov 20, 2018 4:12:17 PM

It's finally here! You can now earn NABCEP Continuing Education Units or hours (CEUs) when you complete our solar courses. This will help you qualify to sit for the PV Installation Professional Exam.

 

 

Alternatively, you can use your CEUs when you re-certify for the PV Professional, the PV Associate, or any of the PV Specialists credentials...

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4 Things You Need To Know About Photovoltaics

By Mark Mrohs on Oct 18, 2018 2:00:00 PM

When people talk about ‘solar’ today, they’re probably talking about ‘photovoltaics’, sometimes shortened to just ‘pv’.

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Interplay Launches Interactive HVAC Catalog. Here’s Why It’s Huge News!

By Kristina Bentle on Oct 5, 2018 6:30:18 PM

It’s time we officially announce the launch of our new HVAC Catalog. Through the sleepless nights of developing software, working with industry experts, troubleshooting and designing 3D simulations, the day has finally arrived and our HVAC Catalog is live.

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Interplay Learning Named to the Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America

By Kristina Bentle on Aug 23, 2018 6:27:19 PM

We are proud to announce we have been awarded a spot on the Inc. 5000 list. Interplay Learning recorded more than 120% growth in a three year period to earn the spot. According to Inc. Magazine, no company on the 2018 Inc. 5000 list has grown by less than 50% over the past three yearswe are thrilled to be among so many amazing fast-growing innovators.

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Interplay Learning Wins $100k in the XR Education Prize Challenge, an Innovation Competition Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

By Craig Carter on Aug 1, 2018 10:17:30 AM

Interplay Learning is incredibly excited to share that our technical leadership was recognized in a competition hosted by the NYU School of Entrepreneurship and Techstars in partnership with Two Bit Circus, University Ventures and Women in XR. This Challenge was an innovation competition that was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program is focused on accelerating education innovation using virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.

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Virtual Reality Increases Training Effectiveness: 10 Case Studies

By Doug Donovan on Jul 9, 2018 12:41:23 PM

All organizations train their workforce and most spend a significant time doing so. Training programs can range from informal and disorganized to heavily regimented and process-driven. It's important to understand that training is only as good as its ability to help your team retain information and perform relevant skills. In hands-on jobs, VR (Virtual Reality) and Sims (Simulations) have proven to increase training efficiency which inherently can increase business profitability.

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Interplay Learning Highlighted At Dell Technologies World Keynote

By Craig Carter on May 8, 2018 2:22:16 PM

After taking part in an AR/VR session at Dell Technologies World, Interplay's CEO, Doug Donovan, was met with a welcome surprise. During the first ten minutes of the events keynote address, Jeff Clarke, COO of Dell Technologies,  highlighted how Interplay represents the vision of modern workforce training and digital transformation. He believes Interplay's ability to bring VR training to the trades is critical to helping companies improve productivity and train their future workforce. Watch the quick video to see it first hand!

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Dell Sees the Future of Trades Training with Virtual Reality and Interplay Learning

By Craig Carter on Apr 24, 2018 3:59:44 PM

Dell reached out to Interplay's CEO, Doug Donovan, to help create a video to inform Dell's customers that Virtual Reality has the potential to play a serious role in reducing the labor skills gap. The term, skills gap, is used to describe the fact that many aspiring workers are not prepared with the necessary skills for the jobs available.  Virtual Reality has the potential to play a significant role in upskilling new employees or helping current employees cross train in other areas. Check out the video for yourself! 

Dell and Interplay created a partnership last year, and this video continues to expand upon their belief that together hardware and software technology can support people starting new careers and expanding opportunities across a company and beyond. 

Topics: NEWS Training VR
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Interplay's CEO, Doug Donovan, Talks Virtual Reality at Dell Technologies SXSW Trailblazers Event

By Craig Carter on Apr 6, 2018 12:34:04 PM

Our CEO, Doug Donovan, was asked to participate in some event activities at Dell Technologies Trailblazers Live taping. We wanted to share with you Doug's insight on how Virtual Reality is a critical technology to helping the workforce prepare for the jobs of the future. This video helps further show why our partnership with Dell is so important. VR is such greenfield, yet massive opportunity for our customer base that it takes support from tech leaders like Dell to help companies take advantage of this game-changing technology. 

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See the Future of Hands-On Training in Virtual Reality

By Craig Carter on Mar 27, 2018 9:11:04 AM

Our Solar Training Program just launched, and we are excited to help companies grow and support their employees through improved training.  The Solar Training Program is the first industry-specific training program using sim based learning via both computers/tablets and virtual reality headsets. We believe the hardware should support the learning environment in the best way possible. Sometimes doing sim activities at home is best done via a computer. Other times when a small group is hanging in the warehouse, it is a perfect time to put on the VR headset to train. Because immersive, virtual reality training is so new, we take every chance to show people what it is like to learn new procedures in Virtual Reality. Last week at the NABCEP 2018 Solar Conference, we grabbed a video of a new user trying out the AC Disconnect Installation Simulation. We thought this encapsulated the immersive learning experience. Click below to watch the video.  Take note of the procedure guide used for instruction, full body movements that help with information retention, and detailed elements added to the installation. Reach out anytime with questions, and we hope to get you in a VR headset soon! 

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Interplay Learning Launches Its Simulation Based Solar Training Program

By Craig Carter on Mar 27, 2018 8:04:24 AM

The first Virtual Reality enabled training solution focused on improving employee productivity for the trades.

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Don't Forget the Fun - A Reason for VR

By Steve Quirk on Mar 6, 2018 10:27:16 AM

Learning new skills is difficult. I’m reminded of this every day with my 6 year old son Nolan; he’s my home R&D learning center. Even though kids, in comparison to adults, are learning machines, they still need a ton of guidance and encouragement (and of course the occasional bribe or threat).

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 OJT 2.0 - How Technology and Tradition Come Together in On-The-Job Training

By Craig Carter on Feb 6, 2018 12:08:09 PM

Interplay Learning Introduces On -The -Job -Training 2.0


Hands on training is very beneficial and is a critical part of an effective training program, but often hands-on training is perceived as the only option. This traditional mindset of “hands-on training is the only way” can lead to a longer ramp-up time and potentially less effective employees.

Interplay Learning’s concept of OJT 2.0 (On-The-Job 2.0) has been developed based on research on the traditional on-the-job training process. To understand OJT 2.0, we should discuss the inefficiencies, or areas for improvement, to discover where technology and slight adjustments in the process can deliver a better-trained employee in a shorter period of time.

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Interplay Learning Partners With Dell to Accelerate VR Training

By Craig Carter on Dec 6, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Interplay has partnered with Dell to pave the way for improved career training in the electrical, industrial and mechanical industries for use by Enterprise customers and beyond.

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Another Brick in the Wall

By Jonathan Farrell on Nov 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Education systems, both formal and in the work place, have long been a topic of debate through all levels of their structures. They are debated in governments, through administrations, managers, and teachers, finally bottoming out with the students. It is the students who in the end feel the weight of the system’s decisions for better or worse. Pink Floyd’s popular song “Another Brick in the Wall” paints a somber picture of students turned out of the education system, factory style. They are just bricks, faceless, mindless. It doesn’t matter whether they learned, or what they learned, only that they went through the system! Fortunately, most education systems are not nearly as bleak and meaningless as this song paints them, this doesn’t mean however that they can’t be improved. The power of experiential learning, and simulation, are two potential solutions for improvement. Educators and employers preparing workers for skilled trades have much to benefit from these two approaches to learning.

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Why the Next Generation of Apprenticeships Need Simulation-Based Learning

By Mark Mrohs on Oct 24, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Our methods of teaching have been constantly evolving. A common practice we probably experience today is sitting at rows of tables, receiving information from an instructor (could be a teacher, could be a solar instructor). Good trainers try to include hands-on activity to break up the lectures, but usually time is short, equipment is scarce, and all you get is a taste of what it’s really about.

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Two Things People Get Wrong About Virtual Reality Training

By Doug Donovan on Oct 20, 2017 4:04:47 PM

For the last 7 years, Interplay Learning has been building simulation-based training software for industries in the skilled trades.  We think we’re pretty good at it, and dare I say, even experts.  We’ve developed training software for everything from electrical wiring to hair cutting.  These training products have all been point-of-view (POV) exercises for the learner to mimic in-the-field performance.  However, we’ve always been limited by the delivery through 2D devices – tablets, desktops, etc.  But that all changed 12 months ago when we saw the newest version of the Virtual Reality (VR) platforms. With the introduction of the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, we knew our go-to-market would change forever.   

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Interplay Learning Partners with HTC to Bring VR on the Road

By Craig Carter on Oct 16, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The duo journeys across America to perform an educational VR Roadshow.

Interplay Learning is revolutionizing the way companies train their employees. To spread awareness of the impact Virtual Reality will have on training techniques for the skilled trades industries and for the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Cooling (HVAC) industry specifically, Interplay Learning partnered with HTC Vive to host a multi-city interactive roadshow.  

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Interplay Learning Wins CODiE for Development of the Residential Construction Codes Simulation

By Craig Carter on Aug 14, 2017 1:49:04 PM

Interplay's Development Team Wins Another Award

Topics: NEWS
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Interplay's New Website

By Craig Carter on Jun 16, 2017 1:58:09 PM

Today Interplay has launched a new website. The website is developed to help you, our valued customer, better understand the benefits of improved training at your company. This blog is devoted to content focused on developing your employees and industry best practices. We also want you to understand a bit about how our science works. We want you to learn how our subject matter experts work with our team of developers to create training that might feel a bit like the future. Please stay in touch and reach out anytime with questions on our products or suggestions on what you would like us to write about. Our ears are always open and we look forward to hearing from you.

Topics: Interplay
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The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Interplay Learning a $1.25 million cooperative award

By Craig Carter on Oct 4, 2016 2:43:00 PM

Driving development of Interplay Learning’s Solar Training Platform

Topics: NEWS Solar
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Interplay Learning Announces $1 million investment led by Central Texas Angel Network

By Craig Carter on Oct 4, 2016 2:00:00 PM

Enabling Interplay to transform training for professional trades

Topics: NEWS
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Interplay Unveils Virtual Reality Demo at the Solar Power International Show

By Craig Carter on Sep 27, 2016 2:49:00 PM

Interplay’s booth at Solar Power International was one filled with excitement, laughs, and even an occasional scream as attendees tried the Virtual Reality showcase of a Curb Energy unit install. The users entered the virtual environment using an HTC Vive and a high-powered Alienware computer donated by Dell Technologies. One guest said, “I honestly did not want to take another step because I felt like I was going to fall off the roof it looked so real.” After the week of show attendees trying the VR showcase Doug Donovan the CEO of Interplay Learning said, “Even though this was a fun demo, it became obvious how impactful Virtual Reality will become to the training space because as people become enveloped in their environment their engagement peaks. When you combine engagement and education the options are limitless." 

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