Siemens Strives to Build Up the Next Generation 

Workforce development is a hot topic; particularly in the construction and electrical distribution industries.  With a shortage of qualified electricians and retirement looming for many in this field, it is now time for the electrical construction industry to begin the search for new talent. 

Siemens sees this opportunity as a reason to be proactive and stay ahead of the game when it comes to developing the workforce – that is why we’ve created SIschool. SIschool is a learning and education program that partners with trade organizations, technical schools, community colleges, wholesale distribution, and electrical contracting firms. SIschool currently has over 30 partners in 25 states.  The goal of SIschool is to expose students, apprentices, and instructors to electrical distribution equipment in the early stages of their careers. By getting hands-on practice of Siemens equipment and learning the “WHY” behind the solutions, users will be better skilled, more valuable to their employer, and most importantly; users will be safer in their field of work. 

SIschool provides the partner with the necessary curriculum to supplement their studies via the Siemens University platform.  Siemens University hosts over 300 trainings ranging from residential to complex construction concepts and products.  These trainings can be tailored to meet the individuals’ needs. Brad Willbrandt, Instructor at Bellingham Technical College has had first-hand positive experiences with SIschool; he says, “developing a relationship with SIschool is one of the best things we have ever done.” 

The program also provides electrical distribution products and solutions for hands-on training in the lab ranging from residential load centers and breakers to modular metering equipment and lighting panels.   

Another important benefit of SIschool is that it showcases experiential training via a Virtual Reality (VR) platform.  With VR technology, students can install and assemble power distribution equipment and learn important safety protocols around arc flash mitigation. Matt Allread, Education Manager at Gaylor Electric, Inc. says “in such a volatile industry, it has been refreshing to find such a like-minded, innovative, partner willing to directly attack the ever-growing issue of how to both safely and efficiently train a non-skilled workforce to be as proficient as possible, as rapidly as possible.  Siemens VR training platform is that solution. It allows us to give non-skilled workers repetitive guided training in a simulated environment without the real-world consequences (potential injury, poor quality, or customer asset damage) inherent of traditional training methods. This is what the future of construction industry training and retention will look like.” 

Another customer told us; “The more I know about how it is installed, the easier it is to sell it,” said Alex Armantrout on Siemens VR technology. Alex is with Switchgear Quotations, North Coast Electric. 

The time is now to begin investing in the next generation and Siemens is leading the way.  Contact David Quatela to learn more about SIschool and VR training.  

David Quatela, is Head of Creative Services for Siemens Electrical Products division.  Dave is responsible for the creative customer facing content including AR/VR, 3d multimedia, and videos assets as well as specialized programs targeted to channel and contractors.