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Grant program proposed to increase community college access


A Workforce Incentive Grant proposed by the governor’s Community College Workforce Training and Programs Committee could expand the number of students eligible for scholarships at community colleges and help to fill jobs in high-demand occupations.

The proposed Workforce Incentive Grant (WIG) is part of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s plan to make community college and workforce training programs free for more Nevadans.

If approved by the Nevada Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee, the grant would provide grants of up to $2,000 per semester to students not covered by existing programs, such as the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship (GGMS), Nevada Promise Scholarship (NPS) or Silver State Opportunity Grant (SSOG).

“The proposed WIG program is designed to support those students who don’t meet eligibility

requirements for the GGMS or NPS programs and are ineligible for the SSOG program due to credit load requirements,” committee members outlined in their plan for the grant program.

Those three programs require students to take 12 credits per semester – a full-time course load – or nine credits in the case of GGMS being used at a community college. Recipients of WIG would allow recipients to attend community college part time – taking six credits per semester – while also working or caring for family.

If approved, funds would be made available for a pilot of the grant program by spring 2023. Awarded funds would be accepted for study at College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Western Nevada College and Truckee Meadows Community College.

The list of high-demand occupations for which the grants would apply was developed alongside the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation, which plans to expand or contract the list as the Nevada job market changes. Degree and training programs included in the grant program range from nursing and education to computer and information technology, welding, accounting, mechanics, logistics and diesel technicians.

Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.