WNC partnership seeks to boost training services

A new partnership between SkillUp Coalition, Mark IV Capital and Western Nevada College to connect employers and employees in Northern Nevada’s workforce will work with Fernley’s Victory Logistics District.

SkillUp offers an online platform to help people receive career coaching and said WNC has an ideal population of candidates trying to transition from the classroom into the job market. SkillUp has connected approximately 2 million workers to career and training opportunities or support in the nation.

Although SkillUp Coalition CEO Steve Lee says the group is only about three-and-a-half years old, it’s having a “burgeoning” impact filling supply and demand for skilled talent using WNC’s resources.

“We can’t solve every problem, but what we can do is we can send someone to WNC, and we can see that person offer their resources and make that digital pipeline to make recommendations on certain resources that might be available in their community,” Lee said. “Whether it’s transportation or child care, there are a whole bunch of resources.”

The initiative is support by Mark IV Capital, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based leading private investment firm focused on high-quality commercial real estate and private equity investments across the United States. Mark IV now is working on Fernley’s Victory Logistics District that is expected to appeal to the demand for construction, manufacturing and distribution in Northern Nevada.

“We think it was good timing,” Mark IV Capital President and CEO Evan Slavik told the Appeal. “We purchased the land in 2019 out in Fernley, and it was 4,300 acres, and then over the last few years, we worked out pieces to round out edges of the property, attracted for all the reasons you see out there in TRIC (Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center), and we think it will become a real hub for industrial development for manufacturing, distributing, data centers, and that could become all spaces for light industrial and heavy industrial, food service and battery centers.”

Mark IV Capital purchased the land for its Victory Logistics District for $45 million and broke ground in April 2021. The site, which sits within a federally-designated Opportunity Zone, provides a number of tax incentives to attract new or existing companies to the area, which for regional leaders will be key in attracting the labor force and growth in Fernley and surrounding areas.

Mark IV as a developer sees the collaboration as a worthy investment with its longterm industrial vision east of Reno.

“To purchase as much land as we did, you have to take a longterm approach because it’s going to take a long time,” Slavik said. “To build an economy out in Fernley, we’re out there building space for these businesses to move but we need to fill it with skilled workers, and they’re going to need help looking for jobs.”

Because job hunting can be difficult, Lee said, one of SkillUp’s goals is to help make the process as simple and user-friendly as possible through its digital marketing techniques for those who might not want a degree but still need livable wages.

“We want to offer a warm hug,” he said. “One of the reasons we looked at Nevada is we offer that one-on-one service, but users need supports and child care, so where we can come in with our digital platform … is to build that and figure out how to use that through AI (artificial intelligence) and make

“Most workers, including in Nevada, finding a job doesn’t just happen in one week,” Lee said. “It takes months, if not more than a year. So (our service) is like a warm hug, digitally.”

But Mark IV itself didn’t realize exactly what type of expansion this would equate to, he added. The company just knew it had the potential to elevate a skilled population through SkillUp and WNC.

“We think there’s an opportunity there to bring jobs through construction, distribution and warehousing to allow people to work close to home, and that’s a quality of life improvement for residents living in Fernley and we’ll capture (that Fernley demographic) through the west.”

Lauren Dietz, SkillUp’s director of strategy and operations, said WNC helps make connections into the types of industries in manufacturing, business, transportation that aligns with SkillUp and Mark IV’s goals that are both low-cost and satisfactory with a younger market.

“We have a tremendous desire to help people move forward in their pathway, and our contribution is getting straight to the point, and helping people find what is the best job and the best training to get you there .. what jobs are in demand and the sustainability to really improve the life of an individual.”

For information go to at www.skillup.org/partners.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment