Carson City School Board, Supervisors focus on training workers

Carson City leaders Thursday celebrated community collaboration with the focus on preparing young people for future challenges and a changing world of work.

On the mundane level, it was a combined meeting of the city’s Board of Supervisors in a 6 p.m. session with the Carson City School Board of Trustees. But the Carson City Community Center’s Sierra Room was filled with representatives of the Carson City Library, various teacher and faculty from both the school system and Western Nevada College (WNC), and spokesmen from private sector concerns or organizations, as well as the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation.

The celebratory atmosphere was prompted by informative sessions on such things as a $173,519 program, which includes an $82,902 underpinning via a federal grant, to help students get key industrial work force credentials. Another program was called Jump Start, which helps seniors in high school start college level course work, and a third program was the Adams foundation’s effort to help young people become entrepreneurs.

Tammy Westergard, library deputy director, first informed city and school board members about the grant and the “Nevada’s Working Capital” program using a Library Services Technology Act Grant, combined with cash and in-kind match, to help at least 60 young people obtain manufacturing technician certificates. Manufacturing technician 1 is a nationally-recognized standard. There will be 50 trained at WNC and at least 10 in the library.

It’s a collaborative effort of the library, WNC, the Manufacturing Skills Institute and the Virginia Manufacturers Association.

“This is a really big deal,” said Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association. “This is really pertinent stuff.” He said it’s something nobody else in Nevada has done.

Susan Keema, representing the Carson school system, and John Kinkella, WNC dean of student services, described the Jump Start program that’s a collaboration between WNC and various school systems, including this one via Carson High School’s participation.

It gets high school seniors started on first-year college work. The boards were told going forward it will include instruction in construction technology, automated systems and industrial tech.

“That’s a big deal,” said Mayor Robert Crowell. Steve Reynolds, a school board member, said similar programs in Klamath Falls, Ore., have resulted for years in job offers for a high percentage of students.

Miya MacKenzie of the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation gave an update on progress toward building entrepreneurial firms via the Adams Hub business incubator downtown, then turned the microphone over to Jeff Glass, executive director of the foundation’s youth entrepreneur program. Another collaboration, it involves among others the school system and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada.

Glass said 175 students at Carson High alone expressed interest in the program and 70 signed up for after-school involvement. The program involves and E-curriculum, E-clubs and leads to E-biz activities.


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