NEW ORLEANS – From Louisiana Economic Development:
In a move designed to further prepare Louisiana’s workforce for high-paying high-tech jobs, Louisiana Economic Development announced it will engage Unity, a platform for creating and operating real-time 3D content, to assist higher education institutions in training and certifying students in real-time 3D skills. Together with LED, Unity will establish a “create the creator” program to certify RT3D instructors at Louisiana universities and community and technical colleges. Those instructors will then be positioned to deliver hands-on instruction in classroom settings.
Real-time 3D software allows creators to build and manipulate 3D images without waiting for a computer to render those images in high resolution, allowing creators the ability to visualize high-fidelity 3D objects in real time. The immersive, interactive technology is being put to ever greater use by manufacturing, aerospace, energy and other key industries in Louisiana and elsewhere. The program’s goal is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem of Unity certified instructors, supported by training plans and content for classroom instruction.
“This public/private partnership between the State of Louisiana and Unity will provide our workforce with cutting-edge skills in high demand in our increasingly high-tech economy,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “RT3D proficiency is an essential commodity for 21st century jobs in industries ranging from manufacturing and aerospace to software development and entertainment. Unity will train up to 15 instructors a year, and as our higher education partners then proceed to train and certify up to 40 students each, we could see as many as 6,000 Unity certified developers in Louisiana in five years. That’s the kind of talent pipeline we will need to stay competitive in what some are calling the metaverse – a future economy that is increasingly reliant on virtual reality.”
This will be Unity’s first such partnership at a statewide level.
“We’re honored to be partnering with Louisiana Economic Development to bring real-time 3D training to future creators statewide,” said Jessica Lindl, Unity’s vice president of social impact. “At Unity, we believe the world is a better place with more creators in it. This partnership embodies that belief by ensuring education is accessible to all, giving everyone the opportunity to achieve their full potential. As we all learn and navigate new ways of working, it’s more important than ever to provide the next generation with the skills needed for future jobs, as these help connect learning to earning opportunities.”
The five-year project will be supported by a $1.95 million grant from LED. The project was announced at Game Fete, the annual digital games symposium sponsored by LED and GNO Inc., which returned to New Orleans after a two-year hiatus resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today’s announcement underscores our belief that education and employment must be two sides of the same coin,” Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed said. “Louisiana’s higher education institutions are proud to partner with innovative employers, like Unity, to ensure our academic program offerings match the skills and knowledge necessary for our graduates to land high-paying, technology-based careers. This is a great example of how we can successfully develop talent, right here in Louisiana, so that our people prosper well into the future.”
“The required training and skill set individuals need to participate in the rapidly changing tech economy is constant, and at an all-time high,” said President Monty Sullivan of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. “We are excited about this new workforce development and training opportunity through LED and Unity. Our ability to ensure faculty are equipped with the knowledge to properly train students in this space is critical to student success and the state’s success long-term. This investment in professional development will provide opportunities for up to 75 instructors statewide to become content knowledge experts and will allow them to pass that knowledge on to students.”