Grant to support development of mobile game to help Pennsylvania residents land manufacturing jobs

By Kevin Randolph, Pennsylvania Business Report

Catalyst Connection, an industrial resource center supporting the growth of small manufacturers in western Pennsylvania, will receive a grant to support the development of a mobile game designed to help individuals obtain jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Catalyst Connection is partnering with Pittsburgh-based game developer Simcoach Games to create the new game. The $158,735 Training-to-Career grant will come from Gov. Tom Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative.

“One of the biggest issues for manufacturers is trying to find qualified workers to fill their open positions,” Wolf said. “This game is a truly innovative way of supporting the manufacturing sector that won’t just benefit employers, but will provide opportunities and assistance for applicants who are trying to land these family-sustaining careers.”

The game will enable users to practice skill concepts found in the National Tooling and Machining Association’s mechanical aptitude test, which is used as the standard employment exam for a large number of manufacturers.

Catalyst Connection will coordinate with manufacturers and hiring organizations to promote the game.

“Catalyst Connection is pleased to be able to help job seekers prepare for manufacturing employment exams that will support the manufacturing job growth at Oberg Industries, All-Clad Metalcrafters and many other companies, not only in the region but throughout the commonwealth,” Petra Mitchell, president and CEO of Catalyst Connection, said. “Working with Simcoach Games to create an innovative approach to pre-employment readiness, this project has the potential to significantly increase the number of qualified applicants for high paying, high wage jobs, and we are grateful for this funding opportunity.”