Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology Awards More Than $600,000 For New Stem Workforce Training Programs


Mari N. St. Martin
Communications Director
(775) 684-5670
CARSON CITY, NV - February 04, 2016

The Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) today announced it has awarded Round 2 STEM Workforce Challenge Grants to Nevada training providers throughout the state. Total awarded grant funding is $626,206.

“STEM workforce development is one of my top priorities. The education and training students receive in these programs will prepare them for high-wage, in-demand, careers in the new Nevada,” said Governor Brian Sandoval.

“These grants will create training programs that will help meet the workforce needs of Nevada’s STEM employers. As our economy modernizes, so too must the way we educate our workforce,” said OSIT Director Brian Mitchell.

STEM industries in Nevada, like advanced manufacturing, IT, cyber security, energy and agriculture are growing faster than non-STEM industries. Half of the available jobs in STEM industries do not require a four-year degree. The average wage of sub-baccalaureate STEM jobs is more than $50,000 per year, nearly 50 percent higher than that of non-STEM jobs with similar education requirements. STEM Workforce Challenge Grants seek to create lasting partnerships between Nevada’s STEM industries and workforce training providers focusing on certificate and degree programs of less than four years.

More information about the programs, including course information and wage data, can be found at

Career College of Northern Nevada (CCNN) will partner with Tesla Motors, CalRamic Technologies, Charter Communications, and Server Technology to develop new curriculum for its Industrial Electronic Technology degree program, including adding an Automated Material Handling System component. CCNN will receive $119,056 in STEM Workforce Challenge Grant funding to purchase and install robotic and hydraulic training equipment. New courses designed with input from industry partners will teach students robotic theory and maintenance, fluid power and electromechanical systems used in robots, operations and programming of industrial robots, function and operation of Programmable Logic Controllers, and troubleshooting techniques for robotic systems, conveyer systems and 480VAC circuits. Those who complete the program will receive an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Industrial Electronics Technology (AOSIET) and an industry-recognized FANUC robotics certification. Courses will begin in July, 2016.

Churchill County Library was awarded $46,322 to develop an Information Technology Gateway Training (ITGT) program for Churchill County and surrounding rural areas such as Gabbs and Austin. This program will fill a critical need rural businesses have for home-grown entry-level IT talent while providing training to students unable to make the 130 mile round trip to Carson City for classes. The program will be based at the Library and will utilize block scheduling to graduate students faster. Cohorts will contain 10 students and will last 6 to 8 weeks, with up to 240 trainees per year. Courses will be taught by faculty from Western Nevada College. ITGT will prepare students for in-demand, industry-recognized certifications including: CompTIA Security+, A++ for Cisco Technology, as well as a variety of Microsoft specific exams for Windows operating system and networking certifications. Classes will start summer, 2016.

College of Southern Nevada (CSN) will partner with Switch SUPERNAP and the member companies of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) to create a new Cyber Security AAS degree and an advanced Certificate of Achievement, replacing CSN’s existing Network Security program. CSN’s $149,882 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant will fund the development of five new courses that better meet industry’s needs: Ethical Hacking, Physical Security, Incident Handling, Advanced Network Security, and Penetration Testing. As a result of the training, students will be prepared for the following six industry certifications: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Cisco CCENT, EC-Council CEH, and ECIH. CSN’s grant will also fund the creation of a state-of-the-art classroom which will allow CSN to increase enrollment capacity by 30 percent.

The City of Henderson has partnered with McKinsey and Transmosis to create an employer-driven IT Bootcamp, Externship, and Job Placement program, funded with a $114,200 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant. The program will be modeled after similar programs in other cities that have graduated and employed more than 1,200 students. The Bootcamp will be intensive, six hours a day for ten weeks. Curriculum will be tailored to the needs of individual employers while professional mentors and an individualized action plan will be provided to each student. At the conclusion of the program, students will be prepared to earn nationally-recognized IT certifications such as CompTIA A+ and Network+. The program will be located in downtown Henderson at the Pinnacle Building on Water Street and will target students who are unemployed, underemployed, or otherwise determined to be high-risk. Training will begin in June, 2016.

Nevada State College received a $54,746 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to create a Horticultural Science Certificate program. Funding from the grant will be used to develop curriculum for the program, and build a 25,000 square foot outdoor garden farm, and build an indoor hydroponics garden for on-site training. Graduates will help grow Nevada’s sustainable desert and indoor farming industry, resulting in increased agricultural independence and decreased food importation. Curriculum for the two-semester program will include desert ecosystems, permaculture, hydroponic systems, and technology as a means to maximize production. Students will be exposed to the latest research on food production in arid climates and will also spend several hours per week engaged in faculty-mentored fieldwork in the garden. Graduates will be prepared for jobs such as garden, vegetable farm, or greenhouse managers; plant nursery workers; produce inspectors; hydroponics equipment management and sales; or garden consultants with landscape architecture agencies. The program will begin in fall, 2016.

Western Nevada College (WNC) received a STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to modernize its welding certificate and degree programs to meet the needs of the region’s advanced manufacturers. The $142,000 grant will be used to purchase a robotic welder and associated curriculum. WNC will pay to upgrade its facilities to accommodate the new program. The new curriculum and tools will teach students metallurgy, to understand gases and interactions with metals, the mathematics of welding, and how to program the robotic welder. Those who complete the program will be able to program KUKA and FANUC robots. WNC will offer two tracks, a traditional track delivered in a 16 week semester and an accelerated track that meets 24 hours per week. Together, the two tracks will accommodate up to 40 students. The first cohort will start fall, 2016.


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