Boys & Girls Clubs Launch VR Initiative

Children and teens from Hobe Sound to Indiantown can try out the new immersive workforce development program

Javier Mendez of the John & Marge Bolton Club in Port Salerno tries the VR Goggles.
Javier Mendez of the John & Marge Bolton Club in Port Salerno tries the VR Goggles.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County will debut a new workforce development program for local teens with support from a $50,000 Bank of America grant.

Slated to launch this summer, the initiative will leverage virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to provide teens with comprehensive skills and training. The state-of the-art technology was created by Xennial Digital, which specializes in hands-on and dynamic 3D workforce training across a broad range of industries. The grant from Bank of America will be used to support curriculum design, program oversight, and management, as well as the procurement of VR/AR headsets.

Through this program, Martin County students will engage in immersive training in high-demand occupations like culinary arts and hospitality, irrigation, welding, HVAC, and medical coding.

“Right now, there’s a high degree of awareness in society about the struggles and setbacks endured in communities working to overcome intergenerational poverty,” said Keith “Fletch” Fletcher, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County. “We have the immense privilege each day of seeing the incredible potential of our members and what they’re capable of overcoming. We don’t only pour our best into them; we believe the best in them. Bank of America’s generous support for this exciting, hands-on, highly advanced workforce program will undoubtedly make a difference in the lives of countless children and by extension, our entire community.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County grant is part of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s nationwide four-year, $1 billion pledge to help local nonprofit partners address economic and racial equality.

“We’re committed to connecting young adults in communities that have been disproportionately affected by pandemic with the tools and resources needed to succeed in today’s workforce,” said Doug Sherman, Treasure Coast market president for Bank of America. “Our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County will provide innovative programming to help accomplish that mission, leveraging emerging technologies to give students the knowledge and experience they need to seek immediate employment.”

This program will occur at several of the organization’s Clubs, including: Bill & Barbara Whitman Club in Indiantown, John & Marge Bolton Club in Port Salerno, and the Cole-Clark Club in Hobe Sound. For more information, click here.

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