C.H.O.I.C.E.S Partners with Interplay Learning to Deliver Innovative Career Training to Members of Detroit’s Gun Violence Reduction Program

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Austin, TX – December 5, 2023 Interplay Learning, the leading provider of immersive skilled trades training, announced today a transformative partnership with C.H.O.I.C.E.S (Choosing Honorable Options Increasing Chances to Establish Success), a community-based violence intervention program dedicated to reducing gun violence in Detroit as part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s ‘Detroit at Work’ program. C.H.O.I.C.E.S. is using Interplay Learning’s virtual reality and simulation-based training to empower at-risk youth and individuals affected by gun violence. Interplay’s innovative training equips them with valuable skills that open doors to a brighter future through sustainable employment in high-demand fields like HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Multifamily Maintenance, and Facilities Maintenance.

Aligning with C.H.O.I.C.E.S’ mission to empower violence-affected and/or justice involved individuals with practical job-ready skills, Interplay’s experiential videos, interactive 3D simulations, and immersive virtual reality courses complement the program’s existing in-person residential construction classes. Participants can now tailor their learning experience to align with their specific needs, schedules, and interests by taking the C.H.O.I.C.E.S in-person residential construction classes and/or Interplay’s online skilled trades courses. Using Interplay, learners can access 400+ hours of courses and hands-on simulations so they can practice their skills in a safe, realistic environment. They can leverage Interplay’s courses for as long as needed to prepare for industry certifications, secure meaningful employment with local employers, and ensure long-term success on their journey to self-sufficiency. 

“We absolutely love Interplay,” said Stephanie Nixon, Chief Program Officer at Detroit at Work. “It complements our in-person learning well, and their team is great to work with. Our program participants are totally engaged; they’re having fun while learning, they’re competing with one another to complete courses, and all the while, it’s changing the trajectory of their lives.”

A critical feature of the training platform is the administrator reporting tools that enable program coordinators to identify participants who need help and provide timely support and intervention to those individuals. This proactive approach ensures participants stay on course with their training paths, bringing them closer to their ultimate goal of gaining employment and contributing positively to their communities.

“Our mission is to help institutions build better training, better careers, and better lives,” said Doug Donovan, founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. “C.H.O.I.C.E.S is making significant strides in reducing gun violence in Detroit and empowering individuals to lead fulfilling lives. We’re proud to partner with them to support the at-risk and underserved community with an innovative strategy that builds flexible pathways to meaningful trades careers.”

About C.H.O.I.C.E.S 

C.H.O.I.C.E.S is a dedicated violence reduction program based in Detroit, Michigan, committed to providing essential support and resources to individuals affected by gun violence. Its mission is to empower and uplift the community by offering workforce development skills and creating pathways to employment. With a focus on non-judgmental support, C.H.O.I.C.E.S aims to break the cycle of violence and provide hope, opportunity, and a brighter future for those in need. 

About Interplay Learning

Austin-based Interplay Learning is the industry leader in immersive training solutions for the skilled trades. Interplay’s acclaimed SkillMill training platform enables rapid upskilling and empowers new technicians to be job-ready within weeks, not years. Featuring expert-led videos, hands-on 3D simulations, knowledge checks, and personalized learning paths, SkillMill is more scalable and engaging than traditional training. Leveraging advanced technologies like AI and VR, Interplay is reshaping the future of online skilled trades training, delivering highly effective learning experiences that result in better careers and better lives. 

Recent accolades include Forbes’ 2023 America’s Best Startup Employers, 2022 Inc. 5000 list, 2022 Inc. Best in Business list, and three honorable mentions in Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. Visit www.interplaylearning.com to learn more.

About Detroit at Work

Detroit at Work is a program powered by Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, a Michigan Works agency and proud partner of the American Job Center Network, charged with implementing the vision of the Mayor of Detroit’s Workforce Development Board.

Detroit at Work is the City of Detroit’s workforce development ecosystem that works to strengthen Detroit’s talent pool, create career opportunities for Detroiters at all levels of education, experience, and skills, and give employers access to a demand-driven talent pipeline. 

Detroit at Work offers residents and employers a centralized location for all workforce development resources, including a career center network, recruitment services, workforce insights, training programs and strategic partnerships.  

The Detroit at Work website at https://detroitatwork.com is a centralized online portal sharing information with Detroiters to help them find employment, advance their career through training, or access a range of supportive services. Jobseekers can also reach out for support via the Detroit at Work call center at (313) 962-WORK (9675) or via TTY Number 711.

Employers can partner with Detroit at Work to recruit, train, and retain qualified residents for open positions.