Education, Technical Training

Virginia Technical Academy Revolutionizes Skilled Trades Education with Interplay Learning’s Virtual Reality Simulations

June 07, 2023

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — May 30, 2023 — Virginia Technical Academy, a leading institution for skilled trades education, proudly announces its integration of Interplay Learning’s training courses and simulations into its current curriculum. By adopting this innovative technology, the institution aims to enhance hands-on learning experiences for its students to prepare them for careers in the skilled trades.

Virginia Technical Academy, which opened its doors during the onset of the pandemic, recognized the need to adapt and evolve to meet the changing demands of students and the skilled trades industry. The integration of Interplay Learning’s robust training solution demonstrates their commitment to bridging the gap between theory and practical application.

“With the adoption of Interplay Learning’s online courses and virtual reality simulations, we are taking a giant leap forward in transforming skilled trades education,” said David Gillespie, president of Virginia Technical Academy. “Our students will now have access to a realistic and immersive learning environment that will enhance their technical skills and overall confidence. By adding innovative solutions like these in addition to classroom and lab work, we are equipping our students with the tools they need to succeed in their chosen fields.”

Interplay Learning’s training provides students with interactive and lifelike scenarios to practice hands-on work, such as electrical wiring, HVAC systems troubleshooting, plumbing installations, and more. This cutting-edge technology allows students to gain practical experience and develop critical problem-solving skills in a risk-free environment. The integration of Interplay’s expert-led courses and 3D simulations into the existing curriculum will enable students to refine their abilities, boost their efficiency, and accelerate their learning curve.

“We are proud to partner with Virginia Technical Academy as they integrate our online training and simulations into their curriculum,” said Doug Donovan, CEO of Interplay Learning. “By embracing this technology, the institution is taking significant leaps in advancing skilled trades education. We are excited to be part of their journey, empowering students to experience immersive and realistic hands-on learning.”

In support of this groundbreaking initiative, Interplay Learning will provide Quest 2 VR headsets to Virginia Technical Academy as part of a generous donation made possible through Interplay’s partnership with Meta. These state-of-the-art devices will empower students to fully immerse themselves in virtual reality simulations, heightening their engagement and maximizing the benefits of this transformative learning experience.

Virginia Technical Academy is committed to delivering the highest quality education to its students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the skilled trades industry. By incorporating Interplay Learning’s virtual reality simulations and leveraging the power of Meta Quest headsets, the institution continues to set a new standard for hands-on training in Newport News and beyond.

For more information about Interplay Learning’s training platform for skilled trades education, visit

About Virginia Technical Academy

Virginia Technical Academy was founded on the principle that every community needs a skilled and well-educated workforce. Its goal is to provide an environment that will exceed the educational requirements and needs of both future tradespeople and their employers. Virginia Technical Academy is dedicated to keeping our trades strong through education, validation, and professional networking.

About Interplay Learning

Austin-based Interplay Learning offers scalable and effective training for the essential skilled trades that helps business leaders, educators and their teams build better companies, better careers and better lives. Interplay Learning’s immersive online and VR training platform for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, hospitality, multifamily maintenance and facilities maintenance workforces includes expert-led video courses, hands-on 3D simulations, knowledge checks and custom learning paths to upskill advanced technicians and help new technicians be job-ready in weeks, not years.