The challenge

The United States Census Bureau conducts a nationwide poll every ten years. They hire around 50,000 people as temporary employees to go door to door in their local community to conduct the count. To prepare these employees to do their jobs, the Census Bureau sent trainers across the U.S. to deliver face-to-face training. They realized a virtual simulation would be a much more efficient way to teach employees, so they partnered with Designing Digitally, Inc. to build an immersive onboarding program.

The Census Bureau distributes government-owned laptops to their employees. They wanted the temporary employees and field workers to complete the training simulation on these computers, but the hardware was very old. Plus, not all of the employees would have constant internet access. Designing Digitally, Inc. had to design the onboarding solution to accommodate these challenges.

The Solution

Our Agency studied the 900+ pages of orientation training content provided by the Census Bureau to identify the most pertinent information for use in a simulation. Then, our team created an immersive metaverse 3D simulation that trains employees on how to follow the procedures and protocols for polling, as well as how to use the census software to do the local census count in a 3D world. An artificial intelligence non-playing avatar virtual trainer guides the learner through a 3D metaverse neighborhood to show them how to properly approach homes, speak with the residents, and record the information they gather. Then, the learner gets to practice the procedures on their own in multiple realistic environments, including a prison and a hospital. 

Designing Digitally, Inc. built the metaverse 3d training simulation as a stand-alone application so learners can access it on their government-issued laptops without internet access. The application stores the learner’s data in a file on the computer. When they connect to the internet at a later time, the application automatically sends the data to the Census Bureau so they can record who has completed the training.


The United States Census Bureau is very happy with the outcome of their immersive simulation. Over 50,000 temporary employees used it, and the Census Bureau will use it again for the 2020 census count. The simulation has almost eliminated classroom training. They only deliver in-person training to individuals who need additional help. This has drastically reduced the cost of training and onboarding for government employees.

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