Mari N. St. Martin
Communications Director
(775) 684-5670
CARSON CITY, NV - March 17, 2017

Governor Brian Sandoval and the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) today announced $1,000,000 in STEM Workforce Challenge Grants to Nevada training providers throughout the state.

“New and exciting STEM industries growing in Nevada require a highly-skilled workforce,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “These grants will ensure Nevadans have opportunities to enroll in education and training programs that will put them on a career pathway toward success.”

“STEM jobs are growing 41 percent faster than non-STEM jobs, and they pay nearly 50 percent more,” said OSIT Director Brian Mitchell. “As career opportunities in STEM fields become more abundant in Nevada, our priority is for Nevadans to fill those jobs. These grants will help move the State toward the Governor’s goal of 60 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds having some form of postsecondary degree or credential by 2025.”

The demand for skilled workers in Nevada’s STEM industries (requiring knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math), like advanced manufacturing, IT, cyber security, clean energy, and healthcare, is growing faster than non-STEM industries. Jobs in these industries pay nearly 50 percent higher wages than jobs in non-STEM fields with similar education requirements, and half of the available jobs in STEM industries do not require a four-year degree. 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 two years or less.

Great Basin College (GBC) has partnered with Barrick Gold Corporation to establish Operation Bravo (OB), a STEM training and internship program targeted at veterans, with a $43,800 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant. OB will recruit veterans worldwide to receive STEM workforce training resulting in a more highly skilled workforce for rural Nevada. Additionally, OB will partner with local STEM businesses to place veterans in internships where they will learn valuable skills and network with possible future employers. OB will begin with an initial cohort of five veterans who will have the opportunity to pursue studies in the following disciplines: diesel technology, millwright, welding, electrical and instrumentation technologies, natural resources, and nursing and radiology, leading to a variety of certificate and associate degrees. Careers in the mining industry average $96,000 per year while nurses and technicians may earn between $60,000 and $70,000 per year.

College of Southern Nevada (CSN) received a STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to upgrade and expand its aviation program with a state-of-the-art, FAA certified aviation training simulation laboratory at CSN’s Henderson Campus. The new laboratory will provide academic, technological and operational proficiency in aircraft flight and meet the Federal Aviation Administration requirements for certified flight experience. The logged flight simulation hours obtained in the CSN lab will be directly applied toward a pilot’s license, expediting the FAA practical flight examination. The program also assists students in other careers who want flight qualification to enhance their employment opportunities in areas such as power utilities, tourism and law enforcement. CSN will receive $36,920 in STEM Workforce Challenge Grant funding. 160 students will use the simulator laboratory each year. The median annual wage for airline and commercial pilots is $117,290. The median annual wage for aviation support is $62,670.

Nevada Partners Inc. (NPI) was awarded an $81,577 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to create a welding pre-apprenticeship program, in partnership with the Southern Nevada Union Apprenticeship Program. Students will use state-of-the-art virtual computerized welding simulators in their initial training before using actual welders. This method of training will improve instructor efficiency, provide real-time feedback, reduce training time, minimize material cost, and enable more students to participate in the training. The program will provide students with a stackable credential recognized by the construction industry in either conventional or robotic welding. The program also provides students with a number of wrap-around services to ensure students’ success. NPI will train 15 students per cohort for a variety of in-demand careers with an approximate starting salary of $31,200.

Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) received a $127,341 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to upgrade and modernize its associate degree in prehospital emergency medicine (paramedic). Funding will be used to purchase state-of-the-art mannequins and trainers. These mannequins will provide realistic simulation training scenarios such as seizures and convulsions, bleeding and wounds, secretions, and drug recognition while providing wireless feedback to instructors. While funding from the grant will primarily benefit the 50 paramedic students who enroll each year, about 375 other students studying across the emergency medicine career pathway, including nursing and radiological technician students, will also utilize the equipment. The need for paramedics is expected to grow by 31 percent by 2022. Paramedics have a starting wage of $31,980 per year.

Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) received a $36,000 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to complete development of a new associate degree in Unmanned Aerial Systems. With help from industry partners, including Above Nevada, Michael Baker International, and Eye in the Sky, TMCC will begin equipping students with the skills to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), collect and analyze geographical or geologic field data, create images or other visual displays, and calibrate scientific or technical equipment. Students will also learn how to process photographic, volumetric, and multispectral data from UAVs to produce a product suitable for commercial use. TMCC plans to enroll 20 students per cohort. Graduates can expect a starting wage of about $57,000 per year.

The University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC) has partnered with the College of Southern Nevada to develop an innovative nurse residency pilot program that will provide in-depth nursing didactic and intense preceptor experience to new Registered Nurses, funded in part by a STEM Workforce Challenge Grant of $148,325. Acute care hospitals in Nevada have difficulty finding RNs with the necessary post-licensure certifications and hands-on experience needed for specialized patient care. Participating nurse residents will be able to gain nationally recognized, specialty-specific credentials, including Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) or Electronic Maternal-Fetal certifications, leading to improved marketability for the new nurse and a more highly-skilled healthcare workforce. UMC will train 30 residents per year, with starting wages of $57,227 per year.

Carrington College, in partnership with Renown Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, will expand its current Registered Nursing program to additional students by offering evening classes and night and weekend shift clinical rotations. Carrington College was awarded $150,000 to purchase necessary training equipment for these additional students. Three additional cohorts of 24 students will be enrolled each year to help alleviate Nevada’s nursing shortage. The addition of evening programs will provide another option to many working adults looking for a pathway to a rewarding STEM career. Carrington estimates graduates of its nursing program will earn about $79,000 per year.

Career College of Northern Nevada (CCNN) will partner with IGT, Jensen Metal Tech, CalRamic Technologies and EDAWN to develop a 15-month Facility Maintenance Mechanic (FMM) program. Students will learn to perform basic industrial building maintenance, troubleshooting and repair tasks including heating, refrigeration, industrial electronics, SMAW welding and general construction using the latest technological machining equipment. CCNN will receive $133,086 in STEM Workforce Challenge Grant funding to enable students to be trained on industry standard devices such as robotics, conveyors, sensors, programmable logic controllers (PLC’s) and high voltage systems. Training will include STEM fields of electricity, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, mechanics, fluid power, and the programming and repair of programmable logic controllers and robotic systems. Those who complete the program will graduate from Northern Nevada’s only FMM program, a nationally accredited degree. FMM has been identified as an industry with more than 400 job openings per year. CCNN estimates 16 trainees per cohort. The average wage for this occupation is $58,430 per year.

Transmosis, a workforce training innovator based in Henderson, Nevada, was awarded $53,000 to create an employer-driven cybersecurity training program. Transmosis partnered with the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, HCA, and the City of Henderson’s Office of Economic Development to create the program. Transmosis will train approximately 45 students per year in a series of 5-week boot camps. The program aims to attract trainees from under-represented groups including minorities, females, veterans, and those with disabilities, with a special focus on the neurodiverse population. Training will consist of instruction in security fundamentals, operating system security and policies, incident response and risk management, and computer forensics. Following the training, graduates will be prepared to take an employer demanded certification exam. Students will be prepared for a number of careers including cybersecurity analysts, technicians, investigators, and auditors and can expect a starting salary of about $45,000 per year.

Code Tahoe (CT) received a $150,000 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant for expansion into a dedicated, remote learning enabled classroom located in Incline Village, supporting a live class capacity of 25 to 30 students and highly scalable, accessible, and cost-effective virtual learning programs to train students to pursue employment in Nevada as web/software developers. In addition to a comprehensive curriculum covering full stack coding, CT will provide communication, collaboration, team innovation and leadership training, career placement counseling, targeted job placement programs and experiential learning activities in Northern Nevada. CT expects 75 trained/certified web/software developers to graduate annually with a starting wage of $60,000 per year.

Western Nevada College (WNC) was awarded $37,000 to expand its Siemens Mechatronics Training Center, originally funded in 2015 to Level 2. This program will provide highly-trained workers for Nevada’s growing advanced manufacturing industries. Level 2 focuses on teaching skills in systems management, investigation, repair and troubleshooting, teamwork, process management, and project management that are necessary for higher-paid technical positions. WNC is the only college in the western United States operating a Siemens-certified Mechatronics program. WNC projects that 10 students will progress from Level 1 to Level 2 each semester. Graduates can expect a starting wage between $55,000 and $65,000 per year.

Washoe County Library System (WCLS) was awarded $2,950 to create a Manufacturing Technician-1 program in alignment with more advanced training at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC). WCLS plans to offer initial training to individuals looking for entry-level manufacturing training and may not be comfortable attending college. Those who complete training will receive the MT-1 certification, recognized by many Northern Nevada manufacturers and would be qualified to enter the workforce or continue to TMCC for further training. WCLS plans to train 30 students per year with a starting wage of about $37,440.


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