Kudos for collaboration kept coming at a Thursday evening joint governing board meeting in Carson City, but the final kudo came with a warning as well.
Carson City’s Board of Supervisors and School Board of Trustees met together to hear presentations on progress regarding cooperative manufacturing training, entrepreneurship and technology focus in schools and elsewhere, and city library contributions interlinked with city schools and Western Nevada College (WNC). Members from both boards heaped praise on the progress and those involved.
Ray Bacon of the Nevada Manufacturing Association heaped praise on the boards as the session ended, saying nowhere else in the west is such an education-city government link observable. But he also came with a warning about the pace of change, the lack of government funding and the need to keep nimble regarding such collaborative progress for the city’s, region’s and state’s future.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Bacon said. “It’s going to be a significant challenge. The cycle of what you’re doing right now is going to change.”
He said for a long time Nevada and the region have been exporting talent out of state, which needs to end. He emphasized his points about the pace of change by alluding to Tesla and Panasonic, the new Northern Nevada behemoths of battery manufacturing,
Bacon said if Tesla reaches a half million in car sales, Tesla and Panasonic must produce 8.2 million batteries per day. He said he has no idea if that many Tesla cars will sell, but battery packs for various purposes will and that aspect “will be successful.”
Bacon’s comments came on the heels of meeting summary remarks by Steve Reynolds of the school board, who said the joint session showed this point in time provides an opportunity that may prove unmatched in city history.
“We’ve got a grip on a real good thing here,” Reynolds said. “We’re in a unique position to make the most of these resources.”
The resources about which he spoke were laid out in presentations that took more than two hours and delved into education or training for the modern world.
Library Director Sena Loyd and Emily Howarth, WNC professor of electronics and industrial technology, spoke on a Nevada’s Working Capital program aimed at Manufacturing Skills Institute training for prospective manufacturer technician 1 jobs. Loyd said 60 scholarships are available but more can take the class work.
She also disclosed the library is getting a 3D printer as it forges forward with modern equipment.
The training will be at WNC, the library and also can be offered through a Jump Start program coordinated with Carson High School for students beginning college course work early.
Superintendent Richard Stokes, Miya MacKenzie of the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation and the Adams Hub, and Mike Jackson of Micromanipulator made presentations on entrepreneurship and business training for students.
MacKenzie said the youth entrepreneurship program is done cooperatively with the school system, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, is expanding and aiming to include WNC. Jackson said the BEST program, which stands for Business and Education Successful Together, is reaching a pilot expansion phase and has 15 elementary school teachers on board for collaboration already.
City and school governing board members also heard a presentation by Molly Walt of the library’s digitorium about her tech-oriented program helping Carson High students develop digital skills by doing public service announcements and portfolios of their interests and achievements to prepare for future job prospects. She also talked of expansion when the academic year starts again.