Inspiring top young people and training them for manufacturing careers are key ways to enlarge and upgrade Carson City’s and the region’s industry work force of tomorrow.
So said a chorus of people at a work force development pep rally, of sorts, which took the form of a panel discussion during a Wednesday morning breakfast meeting of Nevada Business Connections (NBC). Moderating the panel for NBC, a private sector commerce and industry networking organization, was Collie Hutter, president of Carson City-based Click Bond, Inc. Click Bond makes aerospace and other industrial fasteners.
“There’s a lot happening in this area,” Hutter said, but she didn’t make the task sound easy. “It’s going to be a long, hard road to build the work force that we need.” Later she said it isn’t just a Northern Nevada problem, but one that affects industry across the nation and world.
The message was that industry no longer needs assembly personnel so much as people keyed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics who can communicate.
“The kids can do the job,” said Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association. He said industry, educators and others in the network well represented at the breakfast meeting must inspire and encourage more of such topflight youngsters to consider and enter manufacturing.
Pertinent Nevada education and training in the south appears to be ahead of Northern Nevada, he said, preparing young people to chase jobs to the north in the aftermath of Tesla Motors locating a huge battery factory in Storey County east of Reno, which has sparked interest from other tech or new industry firms in coming here.
“The interest is growing,” he said, adding about Northern Nevada training: “We’re clearly behind the curve.”
He wasn’t alone in trying to get ahead of it.
“We need people with fundamental skills like reading, math and problem solving,” said Ryan Costella of Dream It, Do It Nevada and Click Bond. Dream It, Do It encourages young people, the network of education and training officials, manufacturers and government officials to step up and offer a coordinated message. He also urged a seamless approach and national standard for industry workers’ training certification.
“If they haven’t mastered those basics,” Costella said of tomorrow’s potential work force members, “then they’re not trainable.”
David Steiger of Western Nevada College, who handles WNC continuing education and business development, keyed on the cooperation message among educators, manufacturers and government jobs oversight officials.
“We’re not up there on the hill with a moat around us,” he said, encouraging communication. Colleague Emily Howarth, WNC professor of applied industrial technology, added: “We listen, we hear, we respond.”
Other speakers included: Dr. Carol Lucey, retired WNC president; Ann Silver of JOIN (Job Opportunities in Nevada); Sandra Haslem of Nevada Industry Excellence, and Girish Pandit of Nevada Job Connect, an arm of the state’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.