Inaugural Nevada Impact Challenge winners unveiled

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at the Google data center groundbreaking on July 1 in Henderson, where the inaugural Nevada Impact Challenge was also announced.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at the Google data center groundbreaking on July 1 in Henderson, where the inaugural Nevada Impact Challenge was also announced.

Along with a panel of local judges, tech giant Google Tuesday announced the five winning nonprofits for Nevada’s inaugural Impact Challenge.

Each of the following organizations will receive $175,000:

• JOIN Inc.: Providing technology and employability training for those who are entering, adapting to and advancing in today’s technology-rich, innovation-focused job market.

• Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS): Equipping underserved young adults with the critical skills, knowledge, and resilience to enter innovative fields, like autonomous systems, through education, mentorship and on-the-job training.

• Nevada Small Business Development Center: Supporting Nevada entrepreneurs with access to resources they can use to succeed.

• Nevada Industry Excellence: Bringing manufacturing and tech together to make Industry 4.0 a reality in the Silver State.

• UNSHAKEABLE: Guiding women recovering from trauma, including sex trafficking, substance addiction, domestic abuse and homelessness, to reenter the workforce and start a career that can help, ensure financial independence and sustainable self-reliant living.

According to a Tuesday press release from Carson City-based JOIN Inc., the workforce development organization will use the donation to launch “Career Bound NV Success Skills,” a training program designed to ensure Nevadans have access to basic technology and employability skills training needed for successful employment.

“Through Career Bound NV, we are embracing the workplace changes resulting from technological advancements,” Denise Castle, CEO of JOIN Inc, said in a statement. “We are creating opportunities to prepare all Nevadans with the required skills and behaviors employers expect, positioning them to obtain in-demand, living-wage employment that supports a quality life.”

What’s next

According to the Google, the Impact Challenge supports “Grow with Google,” the tech company’s initiative to create economic opportunities for people across the country. Of note, in June, a Grow with Google took place at the Carson City Library.

Google announced the challenge on July 1, in tandem with the groundbreaking ceremony it hosted in Henderson to unveil its $600 million plan to construct a new data center there.

“The response from Nevada’s nonprofit community was remarkable,” Andrew Silvestri, Head of Data Center Public Policy and Community Development for Google, said in a Tuesday statement announcing the five winners. “During this process, we were able to learn more about the wonderful organizations and how they are moving Nevada forward. We hope that our grant funding will help them to continue to do great work for the state.”

For the next stage of the Impact Challenge, the public can visit to learn more about the nominees and vote for one organization to be named the ‘People’s Choice’ winner awarded an additional $125,000.

Voting ends Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 11:59 p.m.

Google had previously selected a panel of Nevada judges to review applications from nonprofits across the state; the panel chose the above five winners based on proposals that included “bold and creative ideas to create economic opportunity in their communities,” according to the company.

The Nevada Impact Challenge statewide judge’s panel includes:

• Dave Archer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology

• Chris Askin, CEO and President, Community Foundation of Western Nevada

• Doug Erwin, Senior Vice President Entrepreneurial Development, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada

• Peter Guzman, President, Latin Chamber of Commerce

• Mary Kerner, CEO, Rural Nevada Development Corporation

• Amy Purdy, International Motivational Speaker, 3x Paralympic Medalist and NY Times Best-selling Author

• Former Gov. Brian Sandoval, 30th Nevada Governor

• Marybeth Sewald, President and CEO, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce

According to previous reports, the $600 million data center project in Henderson is one chunk of a massive $13 billion plan from the tech giant to build new and expanded data centers and offices across the U.S. this year, an investment CEO Sundar Pichai announced in February.

In addition to the Henderson plant, Google plans to build new data centers this year in Nevada (near Reno), Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia. Pichai estimates this will lead to 10,000 new jobs.

In its 2018 Economic Impact report, Google announced that 14,000 Nevada businesses, website publishers and nonprofits benefited from Google tools; further, the company reportedly helped provide $3.22 billion of economic activity for Nevada organizations.


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