Interplay Learning Partners with Residential Real Estate Leader The Michaels Organization to Expand Maintenance Labor Pool and Tackle Turnover with Simulation-Based Training Courses | Company


With more than 60,000 units under management, a national leader in residential real estate uses Interplay’s basic skilled trades training courses and personalized learning paths to expand its pool of available candidates, quickly improve skills and retain its in-demand service technicians.

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Interplay Learning, the world’s leading provider of online and virtual reality training for essential skilled trades, today announced its partnership with The Michaels Organization, a national leader in residential real estate. Launched in October 2021, Interplay Learning provides more than 2,300 service technicians with on-demand, simulation-based training courses in HVAC, plumbing, electrical, appliance repair and safety, preparing entry-level technicians to be ready for work in 18 weeks.

A growing shortage of skilled talent and high turnover among on-site maintenance staff is causing property management companies across the country to struggle to fill vacant maintenance positions.

“Training is a critical goal in attracting and retaining skilled entry-level talent in accessible maintenance roles at Michaels properties,” said Lea Ann Bowers, director of talent development at Michaels. “Interplay’s foundational courses and realistic simulation training on field equipment and devices are key to expanding a shrinking talent pool, providing opportunities to develop the skills of new hires with little or no experience in industry.”

Michaels’ focus on providing engaging and continuous learning paths is expected to be a key driver of continued success for Michaels’ more than 440 apartment communities nationwide.

With a longstanding commitment to innovation and industry-leading employee training, Michaels is excited to add Interplay’s industry-leading trade catalogs to its service training program. Since the initial rollout, Interplay has enabled them to fill essential maintenance roles faster, quickly develop a confident workforce, and prepare employees for career-building certifications like EPA 608.

“With Interplay, we can now hire people with no experience and train them in maintenance,” said Jim Loughery, national vice president of facilities for The Michaels Organization. “During the first two months, Interplay Learning’s detailed and interactive training process provided much-needed instruction to enable our maintenance teammates to safely troubleshoot and repair basic maintenance issues. After completing the Technician I course in 18 weeks, maintenance teammates are ready to tackle most maintenance issues.”

Additionally, the partnership helps Michaels retain their workforce by offering advanced courses to advance their careers.

“Our existing maintenance teammates can deepen their knowledge and gain value by following the Tech II and Tech III paths,” Loughery said. “These courses give them the knowledge and confidence to identify and fix countless flaws that help retain employees by allowing them to gain more knowledge.”

Doug Donovan, Founder and CEO of Interplay Learning, said, “We are proud to partner with The Michaels Organization to provide accessible and innovative maintenance training to its maintenance teams and new hires. As the national leader in residential real estate, The Michaels Organization is setting an example for other multi-family organizations struggling with skills shortages to leverage innovative training technologies to expand their labor pool and upskill essential employees. »

For more information about Interplay Learning, visit

About the Michaels Organization

Serving more than 175,000 residents in 440 communities in 37 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Michaels Organization is a national leader in residential real estate, with full-service capabilities in the development, property management, construction and finance. . We are committed to building communities that lift lives. For more information about The Michaels Organization, please visit

About interactive learning

Since 2016, Austin-based Interplay Learning has been creating better training, better careers, and better lives for its customers and their employees. Its award-winning online and virtual reality training for essential skilled trades, including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, multi-family maintenance and facility maintenance, is scalable and more effective than traditional methods. traditional training. Leveraging immersive learning technology, Interplay customers can train and practice hands-on learning from desktop, phone, tablet, or in virtual reality. The result is a highly skilled employee who is ready to work in weeks, not years. Its digital learning platform, SkillMill, easily turns any space into a training lab with its short video courses, 3D simulations, knowledge checks, coaching and connectivity. Recent accolades include recognition by Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards in the Education, General Excellence and On the Rise categories. Welcome to the next generation of skilled workers. Visit to learn more.


Heather Ripley

RP Ripley

(865) 977-1973

[email protected]

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