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HBA Awards

HBA: HBA of the Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties
Category: Education
Location: Durham, N.C.
Size: Local Association: 601+ Members
Year: 2022

Be Pro Be Proud NC is an initiative to generate student, parent, and educator interest in technical skilled professions. Additionally, the program aims to change perceptions of technical careers and increase training to address longstanding labor shortages in the skilled trades. The program utilizes two custom-built exhibition trailers equipped with virtual reality technology to give middle and high school students hands-on experience within the construction, manufacturing, transportation, and utility industries.

Inside the trailers, different workstations utilize virtual reality to allow students to experience what it’s like to use an excavator, practice welding, drive a tractor trailer, and work in construction, among other activities. The program is ongoing and to date there have been over 18,500 students impacted by the workshops with over 1,500 signing up to indicate their interest in one of the skilled trades.