NSHE Notes
by Chancellor Dan Klaich

November 2, 2015

More great news is coming in for Nevada's community colleges and state college!

On October 28, Gov. Brian Sandoval announced that a total of $335,975 is being awarded to Nevada State College, Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada College as part of the state's ongoing efforts to invest in education.

The Governor's Office of Science, Innovation and Technology awarded the STEM Workforce Challenge Grants to enhance the partnerships between NSHE and Nevada's STEM industry.

"As we seek to diversify Nevada's economy, our economic development strategy has targeted high-tech industries that pay good wages," said Gov. Sandoval in a statement. "Now we need a workforce development strategy to match. The training programs funded by these grants are the beginning of that strategy and will supply the highly trained workforce required for the New Nevada economy."

Gov. Sandoval's ongoing support of the Nevada System of Higher Education is allowing us to help him build that New Nevada. After all, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics do not create jobs by themselves; it's Nevada industry, partnered with our colleges, that does.

These grants will help us enhance those partnerships as well as increase student access to STEM-related programs. I believe it is important to not only increase access, but to help our students see the positive impacts they can have in their communities, and the world, if they pursue STEM programs in our colleges.

The grants will be distributed as follows:
  • TMCC will partner with Switch, Inc. to develop a new training program for data center engineering technicians in anticipation of workforce demands created by Switch's new SuperNAP site in northern Nevada. Graduates will be trained in operations and maintenance of commercial heating and cooling systems. TMCC received a grant award of $149,435 that will facilitate the acquisition of training equipment and simulators for the TMCC Applied Technologies Center and for the development of the new curriculum. Additionally, Switch will donate a cooling tower to TMCC so that students can work with the same equipment in the lab that they would at Switch, and will provide training to TMCC faculty. Graduates of this program will be qualified to work for a variety of industries including advanced manufacturing, distribution and health care. Students will begin enrolling in the fall of 2016.
  • WNC will receive $150,000 to build a Mechatronics Training Center and implement the Siemens Mechatronics certified curriculum, creating the only Siemens certified training center in the western United States. Training will focus on advanced automated systems used in advanced manufacturing. Grant funding will be used to purchase equipment and fund instructor-training by Siemens. Students will begin enrolling in the fall of 2016.
  • Nevada State College (NSC) received a grant award of $36,540 to increase the number of STEM teachers in rural counties. Rural students will be able to complete their teaching degree online, via distance education. Funding from the grant will be used to convert traditional courses into an online and interactive video format, and for the purchase of specialized camera equipment. NSC will begin recruiting students to start the program in July 2016.
I'm excited about the new opportunities that will be available for our students as these synergies between industry and education continue to blossom. These recent grant awards will have a tremendous impact on our programs, as well as on the economic development of our great state.