Nevada’s Community College Consortium has been awarded $9,921,831 in grants from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program.
Western Nevada College, which led the effort in applying for the money, will get nearly half the total — $4,406,143.
“Western Nevada College is thrilled with the news that the Nevada Community Colleges request of nearly $10 million will be fully funded under the federal TAACCCT grant,” said WNC President Chester Burton.
Anne Hansen, director of Information and Marketing Services at the college, said the money will expand training in a variety of programs from machine tool technology and information technology to business administration and healthcare.
The healthcare piece, she said, will focus on the Certified Nursing Assistant program.
She said the goal is to offer more training and industry certifications in areas that lead directly to jobs.
“They are in areas where we know there is need,” she said. “Especially with what’s happening with Tesla, we feel these types of certifications and degrees are going to be even more valuable to our students.”
Some of the money also will go to hire people in the WNC veteran’s center to be there for students.
“Right now there are volunteers in the veterans’ center,” she said. “We’re actually going to be able to hire people to be there for students, look at their transcripts and get them placed.”
She said the money also will help expand accelerated training programs.
“We’ve found it to be very successful where students work in an intensive manner,” she said. “They seem to attain the skills at a faster rate.”
David Steiger, WNC director of Economic Development and Continuing Education, said the grant will play an important role in training Northern Nevada workers.
“This grant award will allow us to continue to meet the ongoing demand for skilled entry level workers,” he said. “It will enhance and extend our very successful accelerated technical training programs.”
These intensive programs allow trainees to complete a full technical curriculum, complete with nationally-recognized industry certifications, in one semester, Steiger said.
The grants program is administered by the federal Department of Labor but the money will benefit all of Nevada’s community colleges.
Great Basin College will get more than $2 million while Truckee Meadows Community College and College of Southern Nevada will each get about $1.7 million.
Each college will be using the funding in different areas depending on their specific needs.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said the grant will provide funding to partner with employers to expand education and career training in the job skills needed by area businesses. He said those partnerships with the business community are “a cornerstone to a vibrant sustainable economy.
“In order to continue diversifying our economy, we must demonstrate that our workforce is equipped to meet the needs of 21st century industries,” he said.