The State, through STEM Workforce Challenge Grants, seeks to spark the creation of lasting partnerships between industry and workforce training providers. These partnerships must result in:
- The identification of STEM-specific skills needed by employers in Nevada;
- The creation of programs that provide the education and skills training to workers that match the needs of employers;
- Are aligned with present and future workforce needs in Nevada as identified by relevant labor market information (LMI); and
- Are sustainable after grant funds have been exhausted.
In Round 6, the Governor's Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) awarded $1,017,105 to build new STEM workforce development programs and promote existing programs. $870,836 was awarded to five applicants in Northern and Southern Nevada to create new STEM workforce development programs that provide industry-recognized skills to workers and meet the needs of local employers. Additionally, OSIT awarded $146,269 to four applicants that had previously received a STEM Workforce Challenge Grant from OSIT to create a marketing initiative to promote the program to potential students, parents, and the community. The four applicants that received funding for marketing are: the College of Southern Nevada for its Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Aviation programs, Great Basin College for its Operation Bravo program, Tech Impact for its PunchCode program, and Truckee Meadows Community College for its HVAC and UAS programs.
The University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC) was awarded $349,991.69 to build upon previous grant awards and develop an advanced certification and training program for nurses. Grant funds will pay for the training of incumbent Registered Nurses and, in partnership with the College of Southern Nevada, also provide training for nursing students. Registered Nurses will receive training in eleven in-demand, industry-recognized credentials: CCRN (Adult), CCRN (Pediatric), CEN, CNOR, CPN, CPEN, RNC-OB, RNC-BC, RNC-NIC, PPCN, and TCRN. Additionally, UMC will use grant funds to purchase “traveling” or portable adult, teen, baby, NICU baby, and premature baby high-fidelity mannequins, accessories, and equipment. Training equipment will be used to provide realistic simulation scenarios in multiple hospital settings and departments as well as simulations in outside settings, such as disaster drills. Grant funding will provide training for 59 incumbent Registered Nurses and 130 nursing students each year. Training completers earn about $63,000 per year.
The Northern Nevada Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Center (NNEJATC) received $116,859 to double the number of training slots in its existing successful pre-apprenticeship program from 20 to 40, to meet increased demands for electricians in Northern Nevada. In total, 40 new students will receive training each year in the expanded program. Funding will be used to pay for equipment and training materials necessary to expand the program. Students learn electrical and mathematical theory, as well as the manual skills needed to wire and install electrical systems. As pre-apprentices, program participants earn money while participating in the training. Upon completion, participants will have the opportunity to enter an apprenticeship program with a starting annual wage of about $59,000.
The Desert Research Institute (DRI) was awarded $297,435 to create a cybersecurity internship program, in partnership with the SANS Institute, Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC), and Western Nevada College (WNC). DRI will provide hands-on experience responding to a wide array of cyber-attacks including designing hardened server systems from scratch with a security mindset, treating malware infections, defending against real-time denial of service attacks, and providing security awareness training to end-users. Program completers will receive a SANS Anatomy for Cybersecurity certificate, a 120-hour internship, and college credit through TMCC or WNC. Funding from OSIT will purchase hardware and software necessary to build a cyber-sandbox and to design curriculum. The program will train five students in its first year before ramping up to about 15 in subsequent years. The starting wage for entry-level cybersecurity analysts is $55,000 per year.
The Southwest Compliance and Safety Training Institute (SWCS) was awarded $80,750 to develop new technician and specialist-level certification courses in environmental, safety, and hazardous materials management. Program participants will earn up to four credentials certified by the International Association of Safety, Health and Environmental Professionals (IASHEP). Funding from the grant will pay for curriculum development and training equipment, including industrial hygiene and respiratory protection detectors; sound level meters, calibrators, and personal noise dosimeters; and computer electrical stations. 30 students each year in Clark and Nye counties will receive training with an average annual starting wage of $52,000.
Tech Impact received $25,801 to start ITWorks 2.0, a program focusing on Network Security in Clark County. The program will train entry-level IT professionals for the industry-recognized CompTIA Network+ certification. ITWorks 2.0 will provide the knowledge needed to plan, install, maintain, and troubleshoot modern networks in a vendor-neutral format. The program will be offered free of charge. The program will train 15 workers per year, two nights per week for 8 weeks. In addition to the curriculum, Tech Impact will also provide certification exam preparation sessions to students. Funding from OSIT will pay for curriculum development, networking lab equipment, and instructional equipment. The starting annual wage for entry-level network administrators is about $35,000.