By Carla O’Day
The Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology on Friday announced $1 million in workforce challenge grants to community colleges and other training programs statewide.
Careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—commonly known as STEM—are increasing 41 percent faster than non-STEM jobs and pay about 50 percent more, and not all require a bachelors degree, according to office director Brian Mitchell.
Examples of STEM industry jobs include advanced manufacturing, cyber security, clean energy, and health care.
“As career opportunities in STEM fields become more abundant in Nevada, our priority is for Nevadans to fill those jobs,” Mitchell said in a statement. “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 following local programs were recipients:
- Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) received $127,341 to upgrade and modernize its paramedic training program. Funds will allow the purchase of mannequins to provide realistic scenarios that include seizures and convulsions, bleeding and wounds, and secretions and drug recognition. Demands for paramedics are expected to grow by 31 percent in the next five years, according to the state.
- TMCC also received $36,000 to complete development of its new Unmanned Aerial Systems degree program. Students enrolled learn to operate unmanned aerial vehicles, collect and analyze geographical or geologic field data, create images or other visual displays, and calibrate scientific or technical equipment. Processing photographic, volumetric, and multispectral data from the vehicles will allow them to produce a product suitable for commercial use.
- Career College of Northern Nevada will get $133,086 to enable students to be trained on industry-standard devices, such as robotics, conveyors, sensors, programmable logic controllers, and high voltage systems. The 15-month facility maintenance mechanic program also teaches students to perform basic industrial building maintenance and troubleshooting and repair tasks, such as heating, refrigeration, industrial electronics, welding, and general construction.
- Carrington College was awarded $150,000 to purchase training equipment for students in its registered nursing program, a partnership with Renown Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. Adding evening programs will provide options to working adults.
- The Washoe County Library System was awarded $2,950 to create a manufacturing technician program in alignment with more advanced training at TMCC.
- Code Tahoe in Incline Village is getting $150,000 for programs that train students as web and software developers.
- Western Nevada College in Carson City will get $37,000 to expand its Siemens Mechatronics Training Center, a program in advanced manufacturing. Additional training includes teaching skills in systems management, investigation, repair and trouble shooting, teamwork, process management, and project management.
Funds were also granted to Great Basin College in Elko, Transmosis in Henderson, North Las Vegas-based Nevada Partners Inc., College of Southern Nevada, and University Medical Center of Southern Nevada.
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Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.