Five New Environmental Health & Safety Courses Now Available

We’re always hard at work producing new courses for our ever-expanding library of environmental and industrial health & safety videos, and today we’re happy to announce the completion of five brand new additions to our catalog.

The new courses, Safety & Health Basic, Safety & Health Advanced, Hydraulic Fluid Safety, Hot Work Safety, and Lead-Based Paint Safety, were designed to follow OSHA 10-Hour safety training guidelines and are intended to provide workers with the tools necessary to make smart decisions regarding safety in the workplace.

The creation of these courses followed a typical Convergence production timeline. Months of storyboarding & writing, followed by the tireless 3D & compositing work of our talented media artists, led to our extensive standards & review process. After making the necessary tweaks, cuts, and twists, the review process was followed, at long last, by today’s release of the new training materials.

Look for more details and samples of the new videos in coming posts.

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Chicago Coalition for the Homeless – Furniture Donation Follow-up

Convergence Training would simply like to thank the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless once again for the work they do to target the root causes of homelessness – limited access to affordable housing and too few living wage jobs in the Chicago area.

We’d also like to especially thank Michael Nameche, their Development Director, for being such a pleasure to work with and for personally transporting the furniture from our ASSE Safety 2011 Expo booth to the two women transitioning to an apartment from the homeless shelter.

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Convergence Surface Miner Training Products featured on Cat.com

Check it out. Our friends at Caterpillar are promoting our MSHA Part 46 safety training products over on the homepage of their website. Cat has always maintained a strong focus on safety and we’re proud to be teamed up with them to help bring high-quality training materials to a broader market.

Check out the MSHA safety library over at ShopCatSafety.com, if you haven’t already.

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Convergence Training at ASSE Safety 2011 Expo in Chicago – Not Your Boring Trade Show Booth

With a tagline like, “Bad Training SUCKS,” people know immediately that we’re a different kind of company. And at this year’s ASSE Safety 2011 Expo in Chicago, we didn’t disappoint.

We hired an actor/comedian, Matt Kissane, to be in-character impersonating “Matt Foley – Motivational Speaker,” made famous in several Saturday Night Live sketches starring the late Chris Farley.

The ASSE management actually came by our booth the morning of the second day asking if “Matt Foley” was going to be with us that day. We thought we might be in trouble because of the amount of attention he was getting. Just the opposite. They said if there was an award for the most entertaining booth, they’d give it to us, hands-down. We immediately suggested that it wasn’t too late for them to incorporate a “Most Entertaining Booth” award into their program and we’d happily accept.

And here’s Matt Foley, letting everyone know how Convergence Training can help get their training “back on the right track!”

OH&S (Occupational Health & Safety) Magazine also included a nice piece on us in their article, “Live from ASSE: Dirty Pictures and the Ghost of Chris Farley.

Maybe next year, they’ll actually have our award for “Most Entertaining Booth” waiting for us.

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Convergence Training’s NEW Website – The Corporate Jargon Killer

Over the past few years, we’ve gotten lots of compliments on our website. But as much as we like compliments, we’re driven by our own standards of quality and design. So check out our brand-spanking-new website https://www.convergencetraining.com/ for a look at who we are, what we do, and where we’re taking the industry.

We deliberately skipped traditional corporate web design, and took a revolutionary approach to our new site. We actually tell you what we do… and it may sound crazy, but we also show you some samples of our work. So be warned, if it makes you uncomfortable to have a company speak to you in direct terms, with relevant images, this site is not for you.

You won’t find businessy jargon like, “empowers companies to maximize their potential and facilitate ROI, blah, blah…” Convergence sells Training Courses, Training Management Software, and Custom Course Development Services at competitive prices to companies that value quality. Need to know more? Dig a little deeper into the site or just give us a call.

Yes, our phone lines have actual people on this end. We’re not using our site as a shield to protect us from those scary customers. Our phone number’s right at the top of every page.


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Convergence Training Supports the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

This year, at the ASSE Safety 2011 Expo in Chicago, we’re buying a selection of IKEA furniture for our booth (#1063) and working with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless to get the items to people who really need it. We think that’s a much more meaningful use of our resources than renting a folding chair and table skirt for a couple of days.

While trade shows provide a great opportunity for potential customers and product producers to meet, they can be costly and often wasteful. Printing marketing material, shipping display cases, renting furniture, and paying huge fees for space and services just for a chance to get face to face with prospective clients… We do all that… but we do it our way.

When we attend shows these days, we don’t rent furniture, we buy it and donate it to a local charity. We started this practice at last year’s Safety 2010 Expo in Baltimore MD. It’s just one way that we try to give something back to the community while we grow our business. It takes a little more coordination to buy the furniture and make arrangements with a charitable organization, but it’s really worth it.

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Always Updating…

One of the many benefits of developing 3D animated training is that there’s always the opportunity to update and improve our models. As computing power increases and our development processes evolve, we get to take advantage of creating more complex and realistic 3D environments, machines, and people.

Here’s an example from our Trenching and Excavation Safety course, currently under development. The first image is what we’ve used in the past. At the time, it did the trick. But then, of course, this is a dynamic and ever-changing industry. And animators and 3D modelers characteristically like to push the envelope.

The second image is our latest model under development. It’ll be a focal point of our new Trenching and Excavating Safety course and it represents a much more sophisticated, detailed, and realistic piece of equipment. It’s the result of our increasingly refined skills, tools, and processes. Ultimately, that’s what defines an animation studio, constantly pushing the limits of what’s possible to create effective, engaging illusions that tell a story.

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Convergence at ASSE Safety 2011

June 12 -15 we’ll be exhibiting at ASSE’s Safety 2011 Expo in Chicago, IL. Last year’s show in Baltimore had an estimated attendance of 4,000. And with this year being the ASSE’s 100th anniversary, we expect even more attendees.

If you plan on coming to the show, or if you’re in the area, come by Booth #182 to experience our innovative 3D OSHA-based videos and learning management software. At the end of the show last year we gave away an iPad, flat screen TV, and massage chairs. Who knows what cool prizes we’ll give away this year. So stop by and talk with Bjorn Ansbro and Scott Rise. You’ll see some awesome training and you could just win big!

Visit the link below for more info:

www.asse.org/education/pdc11/

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Benefits of 3D Graphics in Training

For those of you curious about the power of our 3D animation, take a look at this recent comment from a customer who purchased our Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety DVD:

“Graphics were great! The information in the DVD was excellent, but what really stood out to me were the graphics. When I showed it in our safety meeting it definitely kept everyone’s attention and in turn everybody listened to the information better. It was definitely worth the price.”

In safety training, holding the attention of your employees is sometimes half the battle! An exciting visual format focuses the viewer’s attention and prevents their mind from wandering. We create 3D scenes, equipment, and environments that produce cinematic, visually exciting scenarios that keep people’s interest. But pretty pictures are only half the battle.

Some of our most effective use of 3D animation is to visually demonstrate critically important concepts that can be next to impossible with live-action video. For example, in our Compressed Gas safety video, we blow stuff up! But we also create scenes for visual impact based on actual incident reports, not just for fun. OK, it is fun… but we take our work very seriously! Another cool use of 3D is when we show gas molecules being condensed into a cylinder. Imagine trying to do that with a video camera!

So check out our Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety video and take a moment to see some of our other work… You won’t look at safety training the same way again.

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Safety is Part of Everything We Do…

Providing a secure and enjoyable experience for our customers is extremely important to us. So we make sure our ecommerce site is tested by one of the most respected names in software security, McAfee. And getting a big, green check-mark from them means a lot.

So shop with us worry-free. And if you ever have questions about our site or our products, just give us a call at 800.619.2280.

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Convergence Training Viewer gets “Clean Award” from Download3k.com

Convergence Training Viewer (CTV) was tested recently by Download3k.com and found to be free of viruses or spyware. Using 4 of the best antivirus engines available today (Avira, Kaspersky, NOD32, Bitdefender), the Download3k tests provided confirmation that our Training Viewer software is completely clean of any form of badware (viruses, spyware, adware, etc.) and totally safe for anybody to download and use to view any SCORM-compliant training materials.

You can download Convergence Training Viewer from Download3k and use it to view Convergence courses, other SCORM courses, or even to import any courses you’ve created with popular authoring tools.

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