Bill Issler is a business owner and founder based in Williamsburg, VA.
Forty years ago, Bill Issler finished school and began working for his uncles in the steel drafting engineering field. He stayed there for 19 years before leaving to pursue a job with a large engineering software company. He spent three years working on a software project, but the company decided the project he was working on wasn’t in the future of the company. He took over the software and continued to work on it. He bought out a company with an already established excellent reputation and renamed it to Structural Software Consulting. There were a lot of steel fabricators around the country using the software, FabSuite, already.
Bill found a professor to mentor him and help him write the program. He worked with a group of graduate students who also helped with the code writing. After some time, the professor no longer had time to assist with the project, so he started working mainly with one of the graduate students. The student wrote most of the three million lines of code by himself. He continued to teach this student about the steel industry, and now he’s a highly valued expert in the field.
In 2010, Bill began working with an executive coach who convinced him that he needed to distance himself a bit from the company and allow other people to take over some control. He worked to get the company to a point where he was no longer necessary and sold it. Now he’s devoting his time towards developing Industry Lift.
Industry Lift is an organization that uses virtual and augmented reality to help get young people interested in pursuing a career in the skilled trades. The technology helps young people determine what trade they would enjoy working in. They can work as a welder for two minutes and then as a forklift operator for another two minutes. This offers them the chance to discover what it feels like to work in this career before they commit to it.
Industry Lift also offers the benefit of helping to facilitate connections between users and job and apprenticeship opportunities. If users discover a field that they really enjoy, Industry Lift will help them take the necessary steps to find a mentor or career.
In 2025, there will be two million skilled trade jobs that go unfilled because there are not enough new people entering the workforce. Bill doesn’t want to see this industry go into default because of something that could have been done before the problem reached that point.
He also founded the organization VLB, Visually Linked Bible. The structure and platform technology is similar to that of Industry Lift. It’s an organization helping to get young people interested in the Bible through the use of VR. It is intended to link users to various aspects of the Bible.
Bill Issler is a graduate of California State University in Fullerton, where he earned a degree in Business Administration with a focus on management. He was also a member of the Gymnastics team, where the team was named NCAA Division II Champions in 1972 and 1974.
The journey that Bill Issler has taken in his career has inspired and empowered many professionals. Passion, vision and entrepreneurship are strong characteristics that have led to his success. In 2018, he began the adventure of giving back to the industry and the world around him through the vehicles of Industry Lift and VLB, Virtually Linked Bible.