Training program for Nevada employees fails to get approval |

Training program for Nevada employees fails to get approval

Cy Ryan
Special to the Nevada Appeal

It’s estimated a 20 percent turnover of state workers will occur in the next five years.

The state Department of Administration presented a work plan Thursday to hire more qualified employees and to upgrade training of existing workers.

But the Legislative Interim Finance Committee split on the proposal and the item died.

The department wanted to spend $199,600 to hire consultant Linkedin of Sunnyvale, California, to find more ways to find people to get interested in public service.

Patrick Cates, director of the department, said the pilot program would be for three years. Part of it would be for new ways to attract people in private business to look at a new career. The state has a website for openings for jobs but it’s not fully used.

Cates and Peter Long emphasized there’s need for better training. Long said there were 2,500 supervisors in state government and many of them come from promotions. But many don’t have the training to supervise.

Sen. Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, backed the idea. She said errors have been made in the informational technology sector and it has cost the state millions of dollars. Cates agreed this was one of “areas we have struggled with.”

But committee members split whether money should be spent on upgrading training programs. Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, said the training portion of the contract should be eliminated and considered at the 2019 Legislature.

Her motion to remove part of the money for training was defeated on a split vote. The committee didn’t take another vote on whether to approve or reject the full contract.

Cates said he would talk to his superiors to see if the contract should be presented at the next meeting of the finance committee.

Lots of agencies have their own training officers, the committee was told.

Questions were asked if there was upgraded training, would these people leave state work and go into private employment. Long said the state offers lots of jobs that aren’t available in the private sector.

Assemblyman Michael Sprinkle, D-Sparks, said the training aspects need more discussion.

The committee voted to approve the acceptance of federal funds to reimburse state and local governments for their costs associated with the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1. And the state will receive another $2.2 million in federal money for 2017 flood disaster relief.

The committee allowed the Department of Public Safety to spend $1.6 million to buy replacement of tasers. Director James Wright said the present tasers are five years old and need to be replaced. They’ll be synchronized to work with the cameras of law enforcement.