Western Nevada College to offer summer accelerated manufacturing training
Western Nevada College plans to offer an accelerated manufacturing training course this summer.
The two-week, 40 hour a week class will be the second Siemens Mechatronics System Certification program available at the college.
“If you want to have someone from your plant attend there’s about 10 seats available,” Emily Howarth, professor, Applied Industrial Technology, WNC, told attendees at Northern Nevada Development Authority’s (NNDA) monthly breakfast meeting at the Carson Nugget on Wednesday.
The class will be held June 19-30.
The school recently graduated its first nine students from the program, which teaches advanced automation and computer manufacturing skills.
“We told you we’re going to do it and we did it. Nine students came through with upgraded offerings for the Nevada workplace,” said Howarth.
One of those grads, Manuel Laral, an engineering technician with GE Oil and Gas in Minden, agreed.
“The first thing I noticed was these students had the critical thinking skills we needed and within an hour I made up my mind I was going to take some of these workers with me and I did,” said Laral.
Chet Burton, WNC president, said if the state budget gets approved, WNC will be adding another manufacturing faculty member to work with Howarth.
And a 4,500 square-foot expansion of WNC’s Reynolds building to allow for a flexibly-configured manufacturing floor should be completed this fall.
Rob Hooper, executive director, NNDA, said workforce readiness remains the No. 1 issue for area employers.
“Skilled labor always comes up within a minute of talking to companies,” said Hooper.
Improving skills is also key for workers, he said.
“We have to work with those students who for whatever reason think a $10 an hour a job is fine, which is a job that will probably go away,” said Hooper.
He said 850,000 students statewide don’t pursue any education beyond a high school diploma.
“That’s not going to give our employers what they need or what those students and their up and coming families need,” said Hooper.