Consultants commissioned by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development have detailed a vision for Nevada of “a diverse, innovative and sustainable economy” in a new 93-page ‘Recovery & Resilience’ plan. The state plan lays out various strategies for manifesting that vision, among them is a focus on strengthening the available workforce. Job training — and job retraining — were also heavily emphasized by Gov. Steve Sisolak in his state-of-the-state address last month.
The state is already directly involved in workforce development efforts. A new biennial report from GOED attempts to detail the return on investment on its existing workforce training funding mechanism, and it offers a glimpse of what future efforts might look like in a state still recoiling from the coronavirus pandemic.
Lawmakers established the Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada program in 2016. It has since funded $10.6 million in 19 projects, according to the legislatively mandated report.
WINN’s first program was a manufacturing skills training program with the College of Southern Nevada. CSN partnered with Clark County School District to offer career and technical courses at two high schools. The program was initially designed to support Faraday Future — a high-profile North Las Vegas project that never materialized — but it was adapted for other employers, according to GOED.
That program resulted in 159 students being trained. A dozen students obtained employment afterward, with an average starting wage of $21 per hour.
A second advanced manufacturing program at Truckee Meadows Community College resulted in 688 people being trained. Of that group, 89 obtained new employment and 484 “upskilled” or were promoted. That TMCC program had the largest footprint in terms of number of participants.
Other programs include one at TMCC focused on “individuals involved in the justice system in Northern Nevada,” a data analytics certificate program offered by TMCC but available statewide online, and a diesel technology program at Great Basin College.
Western Nevada College was funded to train 33 prospective and current Tesla employees. Tesla also benefited indirectly from some of the advanced manufacturing programs, according to the report.
Wages resulting from the job programs varied. One CSN-UNLV partnership, which focused on home health aides and certified nursing assistants as “entry points in the healthcare field,” resulted in an average starting wage of $10.97. Almost 250 people were trained through that program; 29 obtained employment after training.
The TMCC re-entry program for offenders reported an average starting wage of $15.18.
Other programs reported higher wages. GBC’s commercial driving license program trained only 14 people but a majority of them were employed afterward with an average starting wage of $32.97. A UNLV nursing program, which expanded the types of specialization certificates available, reported a starting wage of $32.69. That program also reported a 100% employment rate among trainees.