Wake Tech Hosts U.S. Senator Kay Hagan
Sen. Hagan Tours Simulation and Game Development Program
RALEIGH, N.C. (February 6, 2011) - U.S. Senator Kay Hagan got an inside look at Wake Tech’s Simulation and Game Development program today. Hagan visited a class, viewed games developed by students and talked with successful graduates about the popular program. It was launched six years ago at the request of industry leaders who needed workers with specialized game development skills for this growing industry. So far, nearly 100 students have graduated from the two-year associate degree program; they have published 20 video games. Currently more than 1,000 students at Wake Tech have declared it their major.
Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen Scott told the Senator that the college worked with local game companies to develop the curriculum necessary to arm workers with the skills they need to be job ready. With more than 40 game companies in the area, the Triangle has one of the largest concentrations of such companies in the country. Representatives from the companies continue to serve as advisors for the program.
“This type of collaboration model is one key to unlocking the unemployment problem,” said Senator Hagan. “We need to take Wake Tech’s model of success in job training and placement and expand it to other industries and communities.”
Industry leaders who have hired Wake Tech graduates, including Sam Field, Vice President of CAE USA and Steve Reid, Managing Director and EVP Ubisoft Red Storm Entertainment, also participated in today’s event, along with graduates who are employed in the game industry. Rion Holland, a Wake Tech graduate who co-founded Lab Rats Studio, a local mobile game development company whose first game was recently published, praised Wake Tech’s resources. “Without the hands-on training and instructors at Wake Tech, our company wouldn’t be here today,” Holland said. “Wake Tech’s support does not stop when you graduate.”
Wake Tech was the second stop on Senator Hagan’s North Carolina Back to Work Jobs Tour. Hagan is meeting with small business owners, workers, veterans, manufacturers, workforce development officers, community college administrators, and others to gain input and feedback about concrete steps that can help put people back to work.