BuildWitt training app utilizes downtime opportunities to speed up operator training
BuildWitt is developing a construction training software designed to help solve the training problem construction companies are facing.
Current job training for contractors is fragmented. New hires go into the field without enough training, current employees have to train new hires instead of focusing on projects, and skilled employees don't often have a clear path for growth.
BuildWitt Training is a video-based training platform that aims to train crews more consistently.
"In the past four years, we've been to hundreds of job sites, had thousands of conversations, and have seen construction businesses in-depth from all different angles," says Aaron Witt, BuildWitt CEO and founder. "And contractors are telling us they need to get new hires up to speed as quickly as possible."
BuildWitt Training won't replace hands-on experience, but the platform offers bite-sized training videos on five critical construction jobs: labourer, grade checker, pipelayer, operator (with instructions for ten machines), and field supervisor/foreman.
The platform has more than 350 video lessons that go over industry basics, safety, roles, responsibilities, and tips and tricks. Another several hundred video lessons will be available by the end of 2022.
The microlearning app-based format delivers short videos, assessments, and quizzes. This learning style has been proven successful in other industries, but never in construction, Witt points out. "We're just doing something that's never been done in the Dirt World before," he says.
Using the BuildWitt Training app, users can spend a couple of minutes watching a lesson during downtime, on their own, during rain delays, or on training days.
"They can consume it in small chunks daily without taking them away from the job," says Allen Hurst, chief technology officer at BuildWitt.
"Many learning management systems produce content for people who sit in front of a desk all day," Hurst continues, "but that's not what's going to make us successful in this industry. We're addressing some of the most underserved needs first."
Each lesson features an industry expert, including contractors and BuildWitt Training specialists, headed by Jay Collup, the company's director for field development and an industry veteran with over 16 years of experience.
"One of the most valuable pieces of our brand is our credibility with the people in the field," Hurst says. "It's important that we keep that top of mind with every video we create."
Admins of the platform can also take the role-based courses and customize them to their processes. They can upload their own videos, create quizzes and assessments, or use the hundreds of options built into the program.
BuildWitt Training's contractor response
BuildWitt Training has already gotten the attention of the Dirt World community. Before its launch, the platform had more than 60 contractors. These early adopters say they were attracted to the platform's ability to provide consistent, real-time communication, correction, and direction on a 24/7 basis.
"Training is one of the biggest ways to eliminate inefficiencies, maintain safety and eliminate downtime," says Ben Ruthven, superintendent at Peitzmeier Demolition and Concrete Cutting. "BuildWitt Training allows us to integrate our in-house material seamlessly and offers the potential to help develop content and learn from others in the trade."
Additional features of BuildWitt Training that are coming soon
Hurst says additional features are coming quickly, including multi-lingual formats, additional job site roles, and safety-specific modules.
Since it's unaffiliated with any OEM, association, union, trade school, vendor, or contractor, BuildWitt can use its middle-ground position to help unite the industry in addressing its people problem, Witt says.