Tech Express mobile training lab arrives at Western Nevada College |

Tech Express mobile training lab arrives at Western Nevada College

Western Nevada College

Imagine a world where a college came to you.

Well, that world is just about here with Western Nevada College’s new Tech Express Lab.

The Automaton and Industrial Technology Center’s striking mobile learning lab was delivered to the college the last week of September, bringing excitement and anticipation to the Carson City campus. It will serve as a mobile teaching space beginning in Spring.

“The plan to roll out the lab and to engage with communities in our area is well underway, and the WNC Automation and Industrial Technology team continues to move these activities forward despite all the changes in the world,” said WNC Professor of Electronics and Industrial Technology Emily Howarth, who has spearheaded the project to bring advanced manufacturing training to companies and rural areas.

“The AIT Mobile Lab is the next phase of our vision to expand the outreach and engagement of our high-tech and hands-on offerings to prepare students to #MakeItInNevada!” Howarth said. “The trailer will support instructional delivery of the WNC AIT Manufacturing Technician program and our internationally recognized Siemens Mechatronics.”

The project is underway following the $337,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) as part of the Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada (WINN) program, a $282,000 grant from the William N. Pennington Foundation, a $150,000 gift from Tesla and a $10,000 donation from Wells Fargo.

“WNC is deeply grateful to the William N. Pennington Foundation, GOED, Tesla and Wells Fargo. These organizations have incredibly innovative mindsets and true dedication toward improving our region’s workforce,” said WNC Foundation’s Executive Director Niki Gladys. “Because of their investments, the mobile lab will open new opportunities for rural Nevadans, allowing them to receive training and employment opportunities they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.”

The certifications attainable with a mobile lab are in high demand with local aerospace, mining, manufacturing and technology employers. They can be completed in short time periods and require very few prerequisites.

Howarth has plenty to do before rolling out the mobile training lab next year. With the lab being a blank canvas right now, it will be some time before it is ready for tours and showcasing.

“I’m keeping it secure and clean with COVID precautions,” Howarth said. “I have vendor and technician visits scheduled and will begin the process of setting up and writing curriculum and materials for new equipment over the fall semester. Our AIT Mobile Lab truck purchase is in progress, and when it arrives, we will be able to plan and schedule ‘show-and-tell’ visits for the AIT Mobile Lab Tech Express trailer.”

If you have questions about the mobile learning lab, contact Howarth at

Celebrate Nevada at WNC on Oct. 31

Celebrate Nevada’s most cherished time of the year in the safety of your own vehicle at Western Nevada College on Saturday, Oct. 31.

For many there will be a major void in their social calendars to fill on Nevada Day without the annual parade to attend.

Hold on. You won’t be able to watch the Nevada Day Parade or participate in it because of the coronavirus pandemic, but you can see the parade entries via your vehicle at WNC’s parking lot from 2 to 4 p.m.

Titled the “Reverse Parade,” don’t miss your favorite parade entries while listening to ambient music provided by the Brewery Arts Center. Among the entries will be WNC Automation and Industrial Technology Center’s Tech Express Lab, which will serve as a mobile teaching space beginning in Spring 2021.

That same WNC parking lot will also be the site of the Made in Nevada Film Festival drive-in movies that began on Friday, Oct. 30 and will continue on Saturday, Oct. 31. Enjoy this classic way of watching movies when The Muppets and Sister Act are shown, and have fun spotting the local locations that appear in the movies.

• The Muppets will start at 6:15 p.m. Filmed in a variety of locations, this 2011 adventure comedy visits Bonanza Casino in Reno and Donner Summit, as well as Las Vegas. Jason Segel and Amy Adams help bring the scattered Muppet gang back together to thwart an oil baron from drilling on one of their cherished places.

• Sister Act will start at 8 p.m. and will feature Whoopi Goldberg in a comedy as she transforms from Reno lounge singer to a nun on the run. The Reno Post Office, Club Cal Neva and the Nevada Club were among the Reno filming locations.

Make sure to stop by Carson City Toyota to receive free tickets to these movies and entry into a $100 gift card drawing. You can also reserve your drive-in space through the Brewery Arts Center website for $5. Go to

Washoe Tribe Exhibit on Display

In recognition of National Native American Heritage Month, Western Nevada College is proud to share the history and artwork of the Washoe (Washiw) Tribe of Nevada and California.

The informative and cultural exhibit will be shown through National Native American Heritage Month (November) in the Atrium Gallery in the Bristlecone Building on the Carson City campus, which is located within the boundaries of the Tribe’s ancestral homelands.

Sylvia Verdugo of the college’s Professional and Applied Technology department, and Lorraine Plympton of Admissions and Records, helped facilitate the exhibit.

“We are proud to honor the “Washeshu” rich culture and history that is still thriving today,” Verdugo said. “The Culture/Language Resources Department Washoe (Washiw) Tribe of Nevada and California have graciously given us historical photos that have proudly been hung in remembrance of those who have come before us.”

The photos on display demonstrate “The People from Here” cultural relationship and connection with the land.

Besides the culture of the Washoe Tribe, the exhibit includes information that contradicts Christopher Columbus as a hero and someone who shouldn’t be celebrated because of accounts of slavery and violence toward Indigenous Peoples.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Earlier this fall, WNC celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day and National Native American Day.

Verdugo said other Indigenous People-themed events are being planned during the month of November. Upcoming events will be announced through WNC’s social media platforms.

UNR Grad Turns Aluminum Cans, Plastics into Art Exhibit at WNC

The next time you throw away a soda can or water bottle, you’ll definitely think of the unique art exhibit now showing in the Main Gallery at Western Nevada College.

WNC and the Capital City Arts Initiative are presenting “Metallum Terrae” by Kyle Karrasch, a University of Nevada, Reno graduate. His landscapes and sculptures are made totally out of discarded aluminum cans and plastics.

Karrasch, who graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and a minor in History, gives viewers pause to think about how wasteful society is and how they can make a difference on the impact they make on the environment.

 “Consumable products, such as plastic and aluminum, are the real footprint that lasts forever when we are gone,” Karrasch said. “My art is a subtle reminder of this garbage … a reminder to think about the life of something you toss away and where it will wind up.

“We, as humans, can never stop consuming, but we can be mindful of this action. My hope is that the future monuments of humanity will not be the mountains of garbage that we leave behind.”

Viewers will be impressed by the intricate details of his artwork.

“My art is the rebirth of this discarded trash,” he said. “I breathe new life into these objects when I incorporate them into my art, giving them a chance of life beyond the landfill.”

The exhibit will be shown in the Bristlecone Gallery on the Carson City campus through Nov. 24. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.