Carson City Library first in nation to offer manufacturing training program | nnbw.com

Carson City Library first in nation to offer manufacturing training program

Teri Vance
Special to the Nevada Appeal

Western Nevada College instructor Sven Klatt speaks at a joint meeting of the Carson City Board of Supervisors, Carson City School Board and the Carson City Library Board of Trustees in Carson City, Nev., on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. City officials came together to support a technology program offered through the library.

Carson City workers will soon be able to earn an entry-level manufacturing certification through a new program being offered at the Carson City Library, the first library in the nation to do so.

"Carson City has a good blueprint for a brighter future, and these kinds of action-oriented solutions make a difference," said Mayor Bob Crowell.

"I am very proud of the leadership of our Library Board of Trustees as well as the many more hands who contributed to this project."

Through a Library Services Technology Act grant, the library is working with Western Nevada College and the Carson City School District to offer training and certification for manufacturing jobs.

Students enrolled in courses at WNC can receive the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 certification training along with their regular studies, or those interested can take the course at the library.

Tammy Westergard, business manager of the library, said the idea was born during a meeting of community leaders, including the governor's office, as part of Nevada's Working Capital initiative.

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"You don't just bring Tesla to town without having a parallel workforce training," she said.

She said the library has secured the funding for two instructors at the college and a trainer at the library, who's going to be Director Sena Loyd.

"We answered the call," Westergard said. "As a free and public institution, the library is uniquely accessible and can complement workforce training happening in the formal classroom.

"Fundamentally, the library is delivering on the American promise of helping folks gain marketable skills."

The MT1 certification is offered through the Virginia Manufacturers Association's Manufacturing Skills Institute.

"The Carson City Public Library is visionary in creating regional collaboration to close the skills gaps faced by manufacturers in the Northern Nevada region," said Katherine DeRosear, executive director of the Manufacturing Skills Institute.

"It is a fitting role for the library to link learning to earning by offering the MT1 certificate program, resulting in individuals equipped with industry credentials and prepared for jobs in manufacturing throughout the region."

Mike Jackson, of Micromanipulator, applauded the school district and college for their increased focus on developing manufacturing skills, but pointed out it will take several years to see the fruits of that labor. He said this training has the potential to provide results almost immediately.

"We really need a workforce we can pull from right now," he said. "This program has the capability to improve the current pool of workers in Carson City."

DeRosear said a key to the success of the program has been the support of Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association.

"There is no more important element for successful implementation of the Manufacturing Technician Level 1 certificate program, than to have industry collaboration with the public library system and community colleges," she said.

Westergard said the certification costs $300, but scholarships are available. She expects the program to be started by July.

For more information about the training, visit http://www.carsoncitylibrary.org

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