Library offers virtual-reality job training

Technology Trainer Nia Turner using a VR headset.

Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), awarded by the State Library of Ohio, Heights Libraries will offer skilled-trades job training with Interplay Learning virtual-reality software and SkillMill’s training platform.  

"As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities." 

The Interplay Learning pilot program will begin in January. Interplay Learning’s 3D simulations and immersive training modules include expert-led video courses, and learning paths to help customers advance their technical skills.

The interactive modules provide training in industries including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, construction, and more. Completion of the Interplay Learning modules builds skill sets in high-demand trades, and provides industry-recognized certifications.  

“Our goal is to champion workforce development and become a center for job training resources,” said Heights Libraries Director Nancy Levin. “We are excited to partner with Interplay Learning to provide another career service for the community.”  

Interplay Learning’s training modules can be completed using virtual-reality headsets at home or in the Heights Knowledge and Innovation Center (HKIC) at Heights Libraries’ Lee Road branch. The modules can also be accessed in 2D with a tablet or computer. Customers who sign up for the training modules will be enrolled for two months before their seat is made available to the next customer. 

“Interplay Learning provides a practical, real-world application of a technology that many people think is just for teens and gamers,” said Continuing Education Manager Heather Howiler. “Using VR in this way helps learners practice and perform tasks and procedures so they are better prepared for real life.” 

If customers are new to virtual reality, or want to learn more about Interplay Learning, Heights Libraries staff will be available to demonstrate the VR technology and Interplay Learning platform at the following informational sessions in the HKIC: 

  • Tuesday, Jan. 10, 6 p.m. 
  • Friday, Jan. 20, 2 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m. 
  • Friday, Feb. 17, 2 p.m.

“Our main goal is to provide important, in-demand, skilled-trades training to our customers,” said Howiler.“We also hope this training will help homeowners learn how to fix a leaky faucet and take on other home improvement projects with confidence.” 

Customers interested in enrolling in courses using Interplay Learning software can visit or call the HKIC Desk (216-932-3600, ext. 1221), or e-mail the staff at

Access to the modules will begin on Jan. 23. More information is available online at

Kaela Sweeney

Kaela Sweeney is the strategic projects manager for Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 10:19 AM, 12.29.2022