Carson High students introduced to technical careers |

Carson High students introduced to technical careers

Teri Vance
Jonathan Gonse talks about manufacturing week at Carson High on Wednesday.
Shannon Litz/ | Nevada Appeal

Just over a month into the school year, Ruben Spencer, 14, has already learned useful skills in his information technology essentials class.

“We can fix iPhones and tablets,” he said. “We can even replace broken screens and build ethernet cables.”

He shared what he has learned with other Carson High School freshmen Wednesday as part of the school’s manufacturing week.

“Out of all my classes, this would be the one I would choose again,” he told them.

The more than 600 freshmen spent the past two days interacting with leaders from the manufacturing industry and learning about career opportunities. The students also heard from higher education officials, including representatives from Western Nevada College’s Tech Prep Program and University of Nevada’s College of Engineering.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to see firsthand how their learning in the classroom can lead to high-level careers,” said Ben Contine, community-engagement coordinator for the Carson City School District. “Many may still have an outdated view of what manufacturing is. These are highly technical jobs requiring strong science, math and problem-solving skills.”

Taylor Thorsen, a welding student at Western Nevada College, spoke to the students about his experience. He said he did not have access to any of those types of classes at his California high school.

“I didn’t know anything about welding until I came here,” he said. “I wish I would have known about it earlier. It would have made a lot of difference.”

Bill Perez of Click Bond, one of Carson City’s largest employers, said it was helpful to expose students to the industry.

“A lot of students don’t have any personal knowledge as to what’s out there,” he said. “This gives students the opportunity to get involved with things they probably wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Adrian Michel, 14, appreciated the exposure.

“It’s really cool to learn about what happens in the outside world, and what you can do in high school,” he said. “It’s really fun to learn. It’s interesting.”

Manufacturing week continues today with an open house at Western Nevada College. On Friday, students in the Carson High School engineering program and students from Pioneer High School will tour local manufacturing companies.

Contine said the events are part of the school district’s newly reworked master plan to integrate community and eduction. The mission is further identified through the national Race to the Top Grant being used to create career clusters at the secondary level to better prepare students for careers and college.

He said manufacturing week is the first of several planned throughout the year to focus on a particular career path. The next will be centered around health occupations, he said.

“We know that for our community to thrive, we must be in full partnership for our students,” Contine said.