Earlier this month, the Fayetteville Public Library in Fayetteville, AR opened the J.B. & Johnelle Hunt Family Center for Innovation. This space provides patrons with free and public access to technology and educational resources. The Center for Innovation stems from the 2020 expansion of the library, which added more than 5,000 square feet to the building. The new space offers access to workforce simulation, virtual reality, audio/video production and editing, and a robotics/fabrication lab.
The Crossland Companies Simulation Lab offers training on equipment such as large trucks, hydraulic excavators, and forklifts. These simulators offer a similar experience as hands-on training. Participants are able to log hours and then use those hours towards their certification. These simulators allow library goers to learn various trades and gain valuable knowledge that can launch them into the workforce.
Will this make a difference in the equipment training world? Absolutely. These simulators allow more people to gain training. This training allows for more efficient starting employees and less time spent on onsite training. Geared towards teens and those interested in heavy equipment, the opportunity to learn these skills come at a much earlier age.
The world needs tradesmen and the simulation lab gives people the opportunity to try out these machines and see if these fields of work are right for them- free of cost. With the construction boom currently happening, there are plenty of opportunities to come.
The library is already working on adding more simulators in the future to allow training on other pieces of equipment. A tool rental center/shop is in the works as well, with hopes to open in late 2022.