Saritasa Technology Solutions | September 21, 2022
Saritasa Technology Solutions, a software partner delivering innovative products and solutions to clients, has developed a new virtual reality (VR) training system for Loadstar, a provider of logistics and product handling services. The system provides a safe, interactive training environment that is faster, more efficient, and safer than previous training programs.Loadstar is the first logistics and product handling company to deploy VR for staff training. In an industry that emphasizes on-the-job training and keeping workers in the field, Loadstar has adopted a different strategy. They put safety and education at the forefront by bringing the on-site experience to trainees using VR. Saritasa developed a comprehensive general purpose railcar inspection & loading application. Trainees can practice completing all the steps required for a standard inspection without the need to travel on-site or work with trainers. Using VR, trainees get hands-on interaction, including visual quizzes and realistic animations. VR provides a more realistic experience and shortens the training process from weeks to days. We believe that our employees' overall safety and well-being start with training, said Stephen Williams, Manager of Operational Excellence.Traditionally, our industry has relied on classroom sessions and manual field training. Some employees have described it as 'death by powerpoint,' and they're not wrong. Loadstar is always looking ahead, and we wanted to bring the latest technology to our training program to create the safest environment possible. By working with Saritasa, we have designed a state-of-the-art training program that is more cost-effective and efficient. Before adopting VR for railcar inspection & loading training, Loadstar used extensive classroom training with lectures, presentations, and study materials. Once the classroom training was complete, new employees needed to apply the material they just learned to real-life field operations. This process could take several weeks as training was entirely dependent on how many and what kind of railcars came on-site on a particular day. Now, they are able to onboard and qualify operators in a fraction of the time. Using VR not only speeds up hands-on training but also standardizes training procedures. On-site, the quality of training can vary due to any number of factors; the manager on duty, the amount or type of railcars on-site, and environmental hazards. VR training eliminates any variance and provides a solid basis for every employee. It emulates field training to provide pre-site training experience, reducing the time and cost required for on-site training.
"Developing a virtual training program for Loadstar is the ideal project for Saritasa's creative and skilled technologists, There are many steps in railcar inspection training, including examination around, under, and on top of different types of railcars. Our 3D design team was able to replicate a realistic environment while optimizing headset performance, and we are extremely pleased with the outcome."
Aaron Franko, VP of Immersive Technology at Saritasa
Loadstar provides product-handling services to refineries, chemical plants, barge lines, terminals, and distribution sites, loading and unloading cargo of all classifications into railcars, trucks, barges, and ships. Loadstar operates docks, tank farms, terminals, and warehouses, managing marine, rail, truck, and pipeline logistics. The company has its headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, Saritasa aims to empower global brands with innovative, customized solutions that fit their needs and support an ever-evolving technology ecosystem. Saritasa specializes in custom software development, mobile development, augmented reality and virtual reality development, IoT solutions, web, database development, and DevOps. Founded in 2005, the Saritasa team employs over 140 employees and has delivered thousands of successful software, hardware, and mobile app projects to a range of clients across multiple industries.
Promethean | December 02, 2022
Explain Everything, a leading online digital whiteboard platform for creating engaging lessons, activities, and interactive presentations, today announced it has officially joined Promethean®, a leading global education technology company. The Explain Everything app provides users with an infinite canvas to draw, animate, create videos, and collaborate and is available on iOS, macOS, ChromeOS, Android and the web. Joining forces with Promethean will bring Everything to Promethean's award-winning panels as well, enabling both companies to have a greater positive impact on the future of education. Long-time Explain Everything users can rest assured that the app will simultaneously continue to be offered on all other platforms. Promethean's educational technology solutions deliver a robust, seamless, and secure experience, with features that respond to educators' and workplace users' unique needs around the globe. Its comprehensive edtech solution also includes superior professional development and customer support. The inclusion of Explain Everything's digital whiteboard platform into Promethean's product portfolio will build upon both companies' visions in edtech and beyond. Explain Everything remains deeply committed to providing the highest level of service, and users will continue to have uninterrupted access to their projects and materials. Likewise, the Explain Everything pricing model does not change. The aim of this strategic merger is to expand on both companies' offerings and provide more rapid technology innovation that addresses global teaching, learning, and collaboration needs. This and much more will be possible when working with a top educational leader in the USA and EMEA, and the Explain Everything team looks toward the future with great excitement. We're thrilled to now be part of the Promethean team," said Reshan Richards, co-founder and chief executive officer at Explain Everything. "Explain Everything's mission to impact teaching and learning in all settings is in perfect alignment with Promethean's more than 25 years of education technology leadership. Together, we will continue to provide the most effective interactive learning tools for students and teachers around the world.
"As technology evolves, Promethean continues to look to the future to provide the best solutions to transform learning experiences. Joining the Explain Everything team with ours is part of our commitment to continuously innovate and work towards providing a superior interactive experience from anywhere, This exciting opportunity and new relationship for both companies will allow us to expand our already robust offerings to better serve customers' needs."
Vin Riera, chief executive officer at Promethean
About Explain Everything
Explain Everything Whiteboard is developed by Explain Everything Inc, a New York, NY, and Wroclaw, Poland-based team of innovators, artists, learners, and leaders dedicated to developing creativity-inspiring technologies. Released in 2011, Explain Everything is now used by millions of educators, students and creative professionals around the world. In December 2020, Explain Everything Whiteboard was recognized as one of the Apple App Store's Best of 2020 for Leading the Classroom. The app is available on iOS, iPadOS, Android, Chromebooks and the web, and is developed by the Wrocław-based team.
Promethean is a leading education technology company working to transform the way the world learns and collaborates. From our founding in Blackburn, England, more than 25 years ago to our global operations in 22 countries today, we've continued to explore, innovate, and inspire —designing learning and collaboration tools that are built for breakthroughs. Our award-winning interactive display, ActivPanel, and lesson delivery software, ActivInspire and ClassFlow, were designed to engage students, connect colleagues, and bring out the brilliance in everyone. With headquarters in Seattle, Washington, and offices worldwide, Promethean is a member of the NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited (HKSE: 0777) group of companies.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) | November 25, 2022
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has launched a new internship program for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help bridge the opportunity gap for students of color—offering community development mentorship and experience that gives young people a leg up when entering the workforce. Over the next two years, LISC's National HBCU Talent Development program is placing 40 students in part-time intern positions with local LISC offices and other community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Interns will support a range of initiatives, from marketing to finance to community engagement, while also participating in leadership and national networking events. The program is funded by the Citi Foundation and is specifically designed to address national disparities in internships, with White students significantly more likely to gain paid versus unpaid positions than Black students. The LISC internship pays $25/hour up to $15,000 for the academic year. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not," noted Denise Scott, LISC president, who held a virtual "fireside" chat with the initial cohort of interns last month. This program is part of our work to address systemic racial barriers that keep young people from gaining the experience and connections they need to compete for good jobs," she explained. "Through this program, students can earn a strong wage, gain hands-on experience, work with mentors and build a network of contacts and supporters all while supporting valuable community investment activity," she continued. "It's a win for all of us. At the outset, eight HBCUs are participating in the program, with young people from varied backgrounds and experiences applying to participate. Eryn Glover, for instance, is a sophomore marketing major at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, N.C., and one of LISC's first HBCU interns. She is working with the staff at LISC Charlotte to support fundraising, social media and community outreach, helping extend LISC's engagement with the region's philanthropic leaders and supporting valuable collaborations with local partners. I've always known that I wanted to do nonprofit work and put my skills to work to help people," said Glover, a South Jersey native who has spent recent summer breaks working at community-based organizations. She chose JCSU for her education because she wanted to attend an HBCU, benefit from a smaller university, and be close to family that had moved to North Carolina. I feel like I have opportunities here, like the LISC internship, that offer the chance to really get to know professors and mentors, and to also make a difference. I want to work in marketing within the nonprofit space, so this internship really aligns with that," she said. In Washington, D.C., Howard University senior Marsi Hailu is interning with the LISC policy team. Her early projects include mapping gaps in broadband access especially in rural communities and researching the disproportionate impact of climate events on low-income communities of color.I already knew that there is a lack of intergenerational wealth in Black and Brown communities because of historical discrimination," she said of her initial research. "But I guess I didn't realize how much that intersects with geography. It's a lot easier to recover from a disaster if you aren't already living paycheck to paycheck," she added. Hailu, a finance major from Northern Virginia, hopes to pursue a graduate degree in urban development after graduation, with a concentration in affordable housing. She said the LISC internship offers the opportunity to try her hand at different aspects of community development, going well beyond what she might learn in her finance classes. In a lot of places, housing is at the root of inequality," she said, explaining her passion for the work. "As someone who grew up in the area, I see the disparities facing low-income folks. I want to do something about that," she said. In addition to Howard and JCSU, initial HBCU supporters of the program include Edward Waters University (Florida), LeMoyne-Owen College (Tennessee), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), Morehouse College (Georgia), Simmons College (Kentucky), and Virginia State University (Virginia). Additional HBCUs will be referring students in the months to come. LISC's Scott said the universities are eager to help students identify new opportunities for advancement—particularly given that many of the schools already have existing relationships with LISC, collaborating on local efforts related housing and economic development.
"Here at Johnson C. Smith University, we strive to graduate global citizens who develop a compelling sense of social and civic responsibility for leadership and service,. "LISC's internship program is an excellent way for JCSU students to put this possibility into perspective outside of the classroom. Just as we strive to develop a better world by graduating the best and brightest, LISC does the same by investing in its community to make economic equality a reality," he said.
JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister
The National HBCU Talent Development program draws on the experience of LISC's nearly three decades of work with AmeriCorps, including the Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) launched in 2020. Through EMC, LISC places national service members in positions that help build the capacity of CDFIs. We have long seen the value in connecting people to community development positions in places that they know and care about," Scott said. "Our HBCU internship program takes that a step further, focusing on gaps in opportunity for students of color, injecting equity into CDFI recruitment efforts and building a community development workforce that reflects the people and places it serves.
LISC is one of the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to create more than 463,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 78.5 million square feet of retail, community and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances.