Workers training in the WNC Tech Express.
The Western Nevada College Tech Express Mobile Training Lab provides industry-specific training for Northern Nevada manufacturers and businesses, bringing state-of-the-art training and equipment to students and employers in rural areas.
That’s been the case in the latter half of spring semester with WNC providing its custom course, Special Topics in Electrical Fundamentals, to Baker Hughes/Bently Nevada employees.
Teaching materials were customized in partnership with operational leaders at Baker Hughes/Bently Nevada, providing their workers with a solid foundation on electrical circuits and systems.
"This program is one way we are working closely with WNC to develop our employees and keep them up to speed on current technologies. Improving their skills through training is important for our employees as they solidify and grow their careers at Baker Hughes/Bently Nevada,” said John Sanchez, global supply chain executive.
A third WNC community partner, Carson Valley Inn, made it easier for the students to access their training by permitting WNC to park its grant-funded Tech Express mobile lab in its parking lot in Minden.
“When WNC asked if we could stage the lab at Carson Valley Inn and explained this incredible resource and how it contributes to workforce development, we were pleased to host the lab here,” said Maggi Vandenburg, sales director for Carson Valley Inn.
WNC's Tech Express Mobile Manufacturing Training Laboratory was created so the college could share its programs with students in rural areas as well as provide important resources that develop a skilled workforce for employers. The project was funded through grants from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as part of the Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada program, the William N. Pennington Foundation, Tesla and Wells Fargo.
Baker Hughes/Bently Nevada has hired WNC students previously who have trained in the college’s Automation and Industrial Technology program, establishing a pipeline for specific needs they have on their teams.
“This Douglas County employer has been a long-term partner of our programs at the Automation and Industrial Technology Center and we have several previous students working on their teams, so when we talk about the details of technical training needed it is easy to find alignment with our classes and available content,” said Emily Howarth, WNC’s professor of Electronics and Industrial Technology Automation and Industrial Technology Center.
The current students all work in the fields of manufacturing and electrical assembly so the focus was on ensuring a solid foundation of both theory and practice.
“The students have all performed with great professionalism as we have worked together to share space and timing in the mobile lab,” Howarth said.
The Baker Hughes/Bently Nevada employees and WNC's Tech Express training lab were relocated to Carson Valley Inn for training because the Baker Hughes/Bently Nevada parking lot was being repaved.
As an added bonus, because WNC has spearheaded the Smart Automation Certification Alliance partnership in Nevada, Howarth was able to provide these students access to prepare for and earn a leading-edge industry certification — the SACA Electrical Specialist. This is a technical knowledge and skills test to gain silver and gold level certification with a nationally recognized credential.