HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Sept. 9, 2020 – The Regions Foundation, a nonprofit initiative of Regions Bank, on Wednesday announced a $42,000 grant to expand the KTECH workforce development training initiative provided by the Kids to Love Foundation.
KTECH already has a strong track record of helping students in North Alabama launch successful careers. Now, with funding from this grant and other sources, KTECH will be able to expand a Virtual Reality (VR) program that supplements in-person training with remote learning from anywhere.
Specifically, the VR program uses computer technology to create a 3D simulated environment preparing students for a range of vocational and tech-based careers. Further, KTECH provides training and credentialing in VR itself and will incorporate the training into its recruitment and classes.
“It has never been more important to connect with people wherever they are,” said Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation. “That’s exactly what VR does and what KTECH is doing. This is about empowering students with new tools to help them prepare for successful and rewarding careers.”
Workforce readiness is a top priority for the Regions Foundation and Regions Bank. In 2019, the bank organized a summit for leaders from Huntsville’s business, government, nonprofit and education communities to share current tactics, envision future strategies and brainstorm on ways to deepen collaboration. The grant to KTECH is an extension of Regions’ work to prepare people in Huntsville and Madison County for advanced manufacturing and high-tech jobs.
“Over time, as our economy recovers from COVID-19 and more companies discover the positive workforce climate we have in Huntsville, KTECH and the Virtual Realty program will serve as important components to the success of the Tennessee Valley,” said Sean Kelly, Huntsville market executive for Regions Bank. “We all benefit – individuals, businesses and communities – when we ensure the workforce is trained, prepared and ready to succeed.”
KTECH students use VR headsets for a real-world experience offering immersive learning environments with face-to-face interactions using realistic avatars. This cutting-edge technology is used throughout KTECH and helps students pursue self-guided discovery in areas such as mechatronics, hands-on skills development, and more.
“During COVID-19 we knew we had to pivot to propel our students forward,” said Lee Marshall, founder and chief executive officer for Kids to Love Foundation. “Virtual Reality was the obvious choice. Giving our students state-of-the art technology in the palm of their hands, no matter where they are, was critical to the learning and workforce training process. We are thankful the Regions Foundation sees how this Virtual Reality technology will advance our KTECH students.”
This is about empowering students with new tools to help them prepare for successful and rewarding careers.
Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation
About Regions Foundation
Regions Foundation supports community investments that positively impact the communities served by Regions Bank. The Foundation engages in a grantmaking program focused on priorities including economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; and financial wellness. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $144 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,400 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Regions Bank, EEO/AA/Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veteran. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.