Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation & Technology Announces Grant Awards


Communications Director

CARSON CITY, NV - April 12, 2018

Governor Brian Sandoval and the Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) today announced grant awards totaling $2,000,000 to create new postsecondary STEM workforce training programs throughout the state.

“One of my top priorities is providing Nevadans with the opportunities to acquire the STEM skills they need to embark on a career pathway toward success,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “A highly skilled workforce will help Nevada’s economy continue to grow and prosper.”

“There are many pathways that lead to a great-paying job in the new Nevada. However, Nevada has a shortage of skilled talent to fill in-demand jobs. The programs we’re creating provide focused, short-term training at a low cost so Nevadans can get a better-paying job faster,” said Brian Mitchell, Director of OSIT.

The STEM Workforce Challenge Grants create programs in a diverse set of industries that reflect Nevada’s growing STEM economy. Nearly 1,800 students annually will attain nationally-recognized, in-demand STEM credentials in fields such as web development and app design, healthcare, cybersecurity, construction, electrical installation and inspection, hazardous materials handling, and network engineering. The starting wage for program graduates is more than $52,000 per year.

STEM Facts

? The demand for skilled workers in Nevada’s STEM industries (requiring knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math) is growing 41% faster than jobs in non-STEM industries.
? STEM jobs across all industries in Nevada pay an average of $34per hour whereas non-STEM jobs pay an average of $21.66 per hour. 
? 50% of STEM jobs in Nevada require an associate degree or industry-recognized credential.  

Round V Award Recipients

Tech Impact, a nonprofit organization with operations in Clark County, was awarded $156,810 to fund the launch of a Web Development Coding Bootcamp. The program will graduate 36 students annually through three cohorts of 12 students. The program will incorporate a unique learning style that leverages proven curriculum style of lecture, project-based learning, soft-skills, mentoring, and employer engagement. Students will earn an average of $55,000 as Web Developers.

The Associated General Contractors of Northern Nevada (AGC) was awarded $196,944 to fund their Construction Access Program (CAP), which is designed to prepare individuals to succeed in well-paid construction employment. The program will provide academic, technological and operational proficiency in heavy equipment operation and meet the requirements of the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Heavy Equipment Operations Level 1 Certification. AGC’s program will utilize Caterpillar Inc.’s Simformation heavy equipment simulators. ACG will partner with the Nevada Mining Association, Operation Engineers Local 3, regional school district trade programs, and Truckee Meadows Community College. ACG will train about 120 students each year. The median annual wage for heavy equipment operators is $45,040 per year.

University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC) was awarded $499,480 to provide industry-recognized nursing credentials to incumbent workers and nursing students. Funding will be used to purchase advanced clinical simulation equipment including sophisticated, higher-fidelity clinical simulation mannequins. The objective of the new program is to incorporate the use of advanced simulation equipment to provide more realistic and rigorous training for UMC’s Surgical Technologists, Sterile Processing Technicians, Surgical Services Nurses and 1,000+ other Registered Nurses, whose employment requires that in addition to an educational degree and clinical license attainment, they obtain industry-recognized clinical skills certifications: Basic Life Supports (BLS), Advances Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC) and Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course (ENPC). UMC will partner with the College of Southern Nevada to provide training for nursing students. The starting wage is about $50,000 per year.

Western Nevada College (WNC) in Carson City was awarded $129,652 to fund the development of a Cybersecurity-Information Assurance program. WNC will become an academic partner with EC-Council and provide Certified Network Defender (CND), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) industry-recognized credentials. WNC will install NOC Stations in a lab environment giving students hands-on experience monitoring sandbox networks. Those who complete the program will be prepared to work in the industry as Computer User Support Specialists, Computer Network Support Specialties, and Computer Repairers. WNC anticipates graduating about 70 students per year. The average starting wage is about $55,000.

Round VI Award Recipients

The University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC) was awarded $349,991.69 to build upon previous grant awards and develop an advanced certification and training program for nurses. Grant funds will pay for the training of incumbent Registered Nurses and, in partnership with the College of Southern Nevada, also provide training for nursing students. Registered Nurses will receive training in eleven in-demand, industry-recognized credentials: CCRN (Adult), CCRN (Pediatric), CEN, CNOR, CPN, CPEN, RNC-OB, RNC-BC, RNC-NIC, PPCN, and TCRN. Additionally, UMC will use grant funds to purchase “traveling” or portable adult, teen, baby, NICU baby, and premature baby high-fidelity mannequins, accessories, and equipment. Training equipment will be used to provide realistic simulation scenarios in multiple hospital settings and departments as well as simulations in outside settings, such as disaster drills. Grant funding will provide training for 59 incumbent Registered Nurses and 130 nursing students each year. Those who complete training earn about $63,000 per year.

The Northern Nevada Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Center (NNEJATC) received $116,859 to double the number of training slots in its existing, successful, pre-apprenticeship program from 20 to 40, to meet increased demands for electricians in Northern Nevada. In total, 40 new students will receive training each year in the expanded program. Funding will be used to pay for equipment and training materials necessary to expand the program. Students learn electrical and mathematical theory, as well as the manual skills needed to wire and install electrical systems. As pre-apprentices, program participants earn money while participating in the training. Upon completion, participants will have the opportunity to enter an apprenticeship program with a starting annual wage of about $59,000.

The Desert Research Institute (DRI) was awarded $297,435 to create a cybersecurity internship program, in partnership with the SANS Institute, Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC), and Western Nevada College (WNC). DRI will provide hands-on experience responding to a wide array of cyber-attacks including designing hardened server systems from scratch with a security mindset, treating malware infections, defending against real-time denial of service attacks, and providing security awareness training to end-users. Participants who complete the program will receive a SANS Anatomy for Cybersecurity certificate, a 120-hour internship, and college credit through TMCC or WNC. Funding from OSIT will purchase hardware and software necessary to build a cyber-sandbox and to design curriculum. The program will train five students in its first year before ramping up to about 15 in subsequent years. The starting wage for entry-level cybersecurity analysts is $55,000 per year.

The Southwest Compliance and Safety Training Institute (SWCS) was awarded $80,750 to develop new technician and specialist-level certification courses in environmental, safety, and hazardous materials management. Program participants will earn up to four credentials certified by the International Association of Safety, Health and Environmental Professionals (IASHEP). Funding from the grant will pay for curriculum development and training equipment, including industrial hygiene and respiratory protection detectors, sound level meters, calibrators, and personal noise dosimeters. 30 students each year in Clark and Nye counties will receive training with an average annual starting wage of $52,000.

Tech Impact received $25,801 to start ITWorks 2.0, a program focusing on Network Security in Clark County. The program will train entry-level IT professionals for the industry-recognized CompTIA Network+ certification. ITWorks 2.0 will provide the knowledge needed to plan, install, maintain, and troubleshoot modern networks in a vendor-neutral format. The program will be offered free of charge. The program will train 15 workers per year, two nights per week for 8 weeks. In addition to the curriculum, Tech Impact will also provide certification exam preparation sessions to students. Funding from OSIT will pay for curriculum development, networking lab equipment, and instructional equipment. The starting annual wage for entry-level network administrators is about $35,000.

STEM Workforce Marketing Grant Awards

Additionally, OSIT awarded $146,269 to four applicants that had previously received a STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to create a marketing initiative to promote their program to potential students, parents, and the community. The four applicants that received funding for marketing are the College of Southern Nevada for its Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Aviation programs, Great Basin College for its Operation Bravo program, Tech Impact for its PunchCode program, and Truckee Meadows Community College for its HVAC and UAS programs.

About OSIT and STEM Workforce Challenge Grants

The mission of OSIT is to coordinate, support, and align efforts by K-12 and higher education, workforce development and employers to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and STEM workforce development so that Nevada’s workforce can meet the demands of its growing economy.

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.

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