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Need to Sharpen Your Interview Skills? There's an App for That

The free app, developed in Pittsburgh, is designed to end the bad interviewing habits that often lead to disaster.


Simcoach Games, a Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center spin off company created in 2005, has one mission: to use interactive, video games to teach real-life skills. 

JobPro, Simcoach’s recent app release, developed in the Strip District, is a trilogy of games designed to teach job seekers the interview skills they need to get hired.

“Approximately 7,000 young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 are looking for work here in Pittsburgh,” according to the Simcoach website. This means interviews galore. The problem is that most of these interviewees are unprepared. That’s what gave rise to JobPro.

How does it work? There are three games: Get Prepared! for pre-interview prep; Get Dressed! for appropriate interview wardrobe; and Get Hired! an actual test interview where candidates answer questions and get feedback on what they did wrong.

Points are accrued based on your choices and behaviors in the game. Attributes like making eye contact, sitting up straight, not fidgeting, are all things that can get you points. By the end of the game, you either land the job or you don’t.

Unlike a real interview; however, by the time the decision is reached, you have learned the tricks of the trade. You walk away, no matter the decision, knowing where you messed up, where you should improve, how to think, how to behave in your next real-life interview.

First time interviewing? Or maybe you just want to brush up on your skills? JobPro games are available on the App Store, GooglePlay, and Amazon.


photo courtesy of sugar and spice ice cream


#SettingSail: Ice Cream Boat coming to Three Rivers

After waking up this morning to a layer of frost on my windshield,  it’s fair to say that the days of ice-scraping are creeping up quickly. With it we bid adieu to the flavorful ice cream season, but one local parlor has given Pittsburgh something to look forward to-- a light at the end of the winter tunnel.

Spring of 2016 Sugar and Spice Ice Cream will christen its first ice cream boat to frequent the Pittsburgh's three rivers and deliver cold treats to customers on shore and on the water. That's right, an ice cream boat.

Sugar and Spice began as a traditional ice cream parlor. The family-owned business planted roots in Baldwin in 1984, but spread its wings to keep up with on-the-go customers. 

Sugar and Spice took the wheel and embarked into the realm of Pittsburgh food trucks in August with the Sugar and Spice Ice Cream Truck. Out to tackle a new terrain, owners Lori and Kevin Heenan put down their ice cream scoops and picked up their hammers to remodel an old houseboat into an ice cream truck on water.

Jon Shanahan, Heenan’s nephew and social media guru for the business, says the boat will match the truck in color-- the same teal, pink and black scheme. If you know the truck, the boat will be easy to spot.

The Heenans hope to launch in April 2016, but stay up-to-date on construction through the boat’s social media pages via Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t quite have your sea legs? Never fear, the Sugar and Spice parlor and truck will remain open on land as well.


Photo by Laura Petrilla

#Wigle Whiskey: Finalist in Martha Stewart’s American Made Contest 

More potential recognition for Pittsburgh's Wigle Whiskey, which is a finalist in Martha Stewart’s American Made Contest.

Wigle Whiskey made its name in Pittsburgh, for celebrating the city’s expansive historical and cultural relationship to American whiskey. Wigle continues the region’s tradition of quality whiskey using “a copper pot and local ingredients,” according to the Wigle website.

The contest seeks out examples of what Pittsburgh does best: “the next generation of great American makers: Entrepreneurs, artisans and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.”

The winner of the Martha Stewart American Made Contest will receive a trip to the Martha Stewart Living headquarters in New York City and  $10,000. Only one winner will be selected.

The final results of online voting will be announced on Oct. 23. 


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