WNC News & Notes: JOIN, WNC to help lead locals to jobs

Deseray Thompson works in an automotive class at Western Nevada College in Carson City.

Deseray Thompson works in an automotive class at Western Nevada College in Carson City.

Losing a job, being unable to afford higher education, or feeling powerless to secure employment can leave one feeling hopeless with nowhere to turn.

JOIN Inc., a nonprofit agency focused on training Northern Nevadans for careers, and Western Nevada College are here to help. Through its partnership with JOIN, WNC is helping Nevadans discover full-time careers through federal funding for accelerated education.

“JOIN knocks down the roadblocks that prevent individuals from attaining educational and training goals,” said Dr. Georgia White, WNC Director of Career and Technical Education. “This partnership allows WNC to offer classes, providing instruction to ready workers for today’s job market in the new Nevada. Students might not otherwise be able to attain their goals.”

JOIN is funded by the United States Department of Labor through a grant from Nevadaworks, a regional agency dedicated to meeting the needs of current and potential Northern Nevada employers. Through grant funding, JOIN has committed its financial resources to pay eligible participants’ costs for specific job-related career training. The repercussions are changing lives.

“We have hundreds of success stories from clients who were unemployed, underskilled, living in poverty or looking to start a new career,” said Denise Castle, Regional Branch Manager for JOIN. “They have found full-time careers in occupations they really enjoy.”

Since 1996, JOIN has served as Northern Nevada’s career training agency, providing free occupational training courses to eligible residents in 13 counties. Clients also receive coaching in resume development, interview techniques and in obtaining full-time employment in their communities.

But JOIN’s emphasis is on providing an accelerated education to its clients, which number several hundred annually.

“Our funding does not cover long-term education courses; rather, it is focused on WNC’s accelerated and two-year or less certification and accreditation courses,” Castle said. “WNC offers the in-demand training and JOIN levels the financial playing field so that all residents have the opportunity to capitalize on the career training that offers them a competitive edge.”

WNC assists JOIN’s clients with training in occupations that have a higher rate of employment in Northern Nevada, such as Automotive Service, Certified Nursing Assistant, Construction, General Industrial Technology, Hospitality, Industrial Electronics Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Manufacturing Technician, Phlebotomy and Welding. Many of these fields are experiencing job growth, so the timing is right for people to train for a career or a launch a new one.

“JOIN’s career training is key to providing new and existing businesses with skilled, ready-to-work employees,” Castle said. “And in addition to manufacturing, JOIN provides free training to meet the needs of the Construction, Technology, Medical and Tourism businesses that are also experiencing dramatic growth.”

In some cases, JOIN covers expenses incurred outside the classroom. In addition to paying for textbook fees and classroom materials, JOIN assists with costs of transportation to and from classes and child care expenses while the individual is attending classes. JOIN also helps with pre-employment background checks and physical exams, as well as work tools and clothing at the time a person is hired.

“I’m grateful for JOIN and other partners who help promote WNC’s programs and direct students to our college as we strengthen economic development in Northern Nevada,” White said.

Prospective clients must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and have lost a job through a layoff, reorganization, downsizing or termination; or served in and been separated from the military; or qualify for public assistance; or face barriers to employment due to physical, mental or emotional disability; or be a displaced homemaker who must become the family’s primary wage earner.

JOIN has offices in Carson City, Reno, Fallon, Fernley, Elko, Ely and Winnemucca. The Carson City JOIN office is located at 716 N. Carson St., Suite 108. For more information, call 775-283-0125 or go to www.join.org.


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