The College of Southern Nevada has received a federal government grant of nearly $ 7 million to build a new educational facility that will provide much-needed skills for high-paying jobs across the valley.
The Commerce Department of Commerce announced Thursday that it is granting CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants of $ 6.9 million to support the education and training of workers at the College of Southern Nevada.
The grant will help build a 10,000 square foot center in CSN, located on 2 acres adjacent to the Historic Westside School on West Washington Avenue in Las Vegas.
The new training facility – Westside Workforce Education & Training Center, a partnership between CSN and the City of Las Vegas – will house manufacturing, welding, computing and healthcare laboratories, classrooms and office space. The grant is intended to help create 300 jobs.
“Contrary to what we have done in the past”
Federico Zaragoza, president of CSN, told the Review Journal in a phone interview Thursday that the grant will be an opportunity for underserved communities to acquire the skills and education necessary to work in a sought-after industry.
Think manufacturing, information technology, maintenance, welding, and other career paths.
“We are trying to identify emerging sectors in Las Vegas that go beyond traditional hospitality and tourism,” said Zaragoza. “So you see an effort to diversify and target multiple sectors.”
Zaragoza said the model is for people who are undeserved, people who may not have a high school diploma, which is necessary for many jobs. âThis is a bridge; These are the types of programs that address community and national challenges that employers and leaders care about, âhe said.
Zaragoza said there were many construction orders across the valley before COVID and new home construction remains strong despite the pandemic.
“It’s an emerging area for high-paying jobs,” he said, adding that other sectors such as information technology “are an area where there are more jobs than there are skilled applicants.”
This is where the new center comes in. It provides an opportunity for underserved students not only to maintain their overall educational development, but also to bring them onto one of these identified avenues.
“Most of these areas require qualification certifications, and that is exactly what these centers will do: to ensure that individuals not only have an education but also have the qualification certifications required by employers,” Zaragoza said. The college is working with various employers across the valley to identify these skills and adapt them to the curriculum.
âFor many, the transition to commuting brings with it well-paying jobs that have the ability to support families. So at a very high level, this part is about that. It’s very different from the past, âsaid Zaragoza.
Elected officials welcome the move
The Nevada Congressional delegation said the grant will help locals seek training for workers.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said the new center will “help so many in Las Vegas find jobs in high-demand industries as the Silver State economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.”
MEP Dina Titus said in a tweet: “This project will create jobs and help revitalize this historic neighborhood.”
Titus wrote a letter in support of the scholarship in February 2020, in which he said the new facility will serve about 450 students annually and “train the unemployed, underemployed and still-employed citizens inside and far outside the historic west side for entry-level careers in the fields.” advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology and construction. “
Senator Jacky Rosen said Nevada needs to step up investment in workforce development.
“We put our economy at risk if we don’t invest properly in workforce development,” she said in a statement. âI applaud the EDA for this important investment in CSN’s new workforce training facility that will enhance the education and training experience of students in Nevada. I will continue to support forward-looking proposals that will ensure our 21st century workforce is equipped with the tools they need to succeed. “
Rep. Steven Horsford said: âNevada’s unique economy has suffered devastating job losses over the past year and many jobs have disappeared forever. To get our economy going again, we need to invest heavily in job creation and training. “