The XR Association (XRA), the trade association representing the growing ecosystem of companies powering virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (collectively known as “XR”), is expressing support for the reintroduction of H.R. 3211, the Immersive Technology for the American Workforce Act of 2023, led by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI).

The XR Association endorsed the Immersive Technology for the American Workforce Act last Congress and continued to work closely with Rep. Blunt Rochester’s and Rep. Walberg’s staff to reintroduce this legislation in the 118th Congress. This bill would provide grants to community colleges and career and technical education centers to use XR technology for workforce development and skills training. With H.R. 3211, colleges and education centers will be able to invest in XR technology for on-the-job training, helping accelerate the future of work.

“Emerging technologies, such as XR, can help meet people where they are and expand access to cutting-edge technology and training resources,” said Elizabeth Hyman, CEO of XRA. “Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester’s and Rep. Tim Walberg’s bill recognizes the importance of equitable access to skills training and workforce development programs and the key role immersive technology plays in delivering better outcomes.”

Joan O’Hara, Senior Vice President of Public Policy at XRA said, “We’re excited to be able to work with Rep. Blunt Rochester and Rep. Walberg, members of Congress who care deeply about ensuring rural and underserved populations are able to tap into next-generation technology and skills training.”

“Through our many partners, we’ve seen first-hand the tremendous benefits that XR brings to education and training. The technology has stronger retention rates compared to other learning methods – roughly 75% for XR compared to 10% for textbooks, and 5% for lectures. Importantly, it lets geographically remote students access cutting-edge training programs for real world skills and better upward mobility,” said Jeff Pohlman, EVP Global Communications at HTC VIVE. “From the beginning, HTC has dedicated itself to merging technology, humanity, and imagination to benefit society. We endorse the Immersive Technology for the American Workforce Act of 2023, which has the potential to bring more and better employment opportunities to rural communities across the country.”

“American companies are using XR technologies, to attract and upskill their workforce, by providing more safe and effective employee training. As a company that has hands-on experience delivering solutions to both community colleges and commercial businesses, Oberon Technologies is proud to support this bill by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and Rep. Tim Walberg which would expand access to quality job training using immersive technology,” said Vi Kellersohn, Chief Marketing Officer, Oberon Technologies.

“Talespin believes Immersive Technology will shape and play a critical role in our future, and we support helping community colleges and technical education centers develop immersive curriculum for the next generation of our workforce,” said Travis Falstad, Vice President, Learning Experience Design, Talespin.

“XR technologies can dramatically change the way America’s workforce is recruited, trained, skilled and upskilled. Scalable solutions are necessary to meet the diverse needs of today’s undiscovered talent to meet the needs of our complex workforce. Transfr commends Rep. Blunt Rochester’s and Rep. Walberg’s introduction of H.R. 3211 and is proud to support this legislation,” said Bharanidharan Rajakumar, CEO, Transfr Inc.

“Unity fully supports the Immersive Technology for the American Workforce Act and we appreciate Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and Rep. Tim Walberg’s leadership in creating new opportunities for economic advancement,” said Jessica Lindl, VP Social Impact, Unity. “By 2030, immersive technologies – including virtual and augmented reality – have the potential to add $1.5 trillion to the global economy and transform over 23 million jobs. We encourage Congress to support America’s community colleges by passing this bill to train the workforce and seize the massive opportunity ahead.”

This bipartisan bill recognizes the pivotal role XR technology will play in ensuring that the American workforce is ready for the future of work.