STEM Workforce Challenge Grant Round II

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 2, the Governor's Office of Science, Innovation and Technology awarded $626,206 to six applicants in Northern, Southern, and Rural Nevada to create new STEM workforce training programs that meet the needs of local employers. Together with matching funds from the institutions and their partners, total investment in STEM workforce training exceeds $1.3 million.

        Grant Information

        Awarded Applications

        Career College of Northern Nevada (CCNN) will partner with Tesla Motors, CalRamic Technologies, Charter Communications, and Server Technology to develop new curriculum for its Industrial Electronic Technology degree program, including adding an Automated Material Handling System component. CCNN will receive $119,015 in STEM Workforce Challenge Grant funding to purchase and install robotic and hydraulic training equipment.

        New courses designed with input from industry partners will teach students robotic theory and maintenance, fluid power and electromechanical systems used in robots, operations and programming of industrial robots, function and operation of Programmable Logic Controllers, and troubleshooting techniques for robotic systems, conveyer systems and 480VAC circuits. Program completers will receive an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Industrial Electronics Technology (AOSIET) and an industry-recognized FANUC robotics certification. The first students will begin taking courses in July, 2016. Entry-level salaries start at $16 per hour; the average wage is $29 per hour.

          Churchill County Library was awarded $46,322 to develop an Information Technology Gateway Training (IGIT) program for Churchill County and other surrounding rural areas such as Gabbs and Austin. This program will fill a critical need rural businesses have for home-grown entry-level IT talent while providing training to students unable to make the 130 mile round trip to Carson City for classes. The program will be based at the Library and will utilize block scheduling to graduate students faster. Cohorts will contain 10 students and will last 6 to 8 weeks, with up to 240 trainees per year. 

          Courses will be taught by faculty from Western Nevada College. IGIT will prepare students for in-demand, industry-recognized certifications including: CompTIA Security+, A++ for Cisco Technology, as well as a variety of Microsoft specific exams for Windows operating system and networking certifications. Classes will start summer 2016.

            College of Southern Nevada (CSN) will partner with Switch SUPERNAP and the member companies of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) to create a new Cyber Security AAS degree and an advanced Certificate of Achievement, replacing CSN’s existing Network Security program. CSN’s $149,882 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant will fund the development of five new courses that better meet industry’s changing needs: 

            • Ethical Hacking;  
            • Physical Security;  
            • Incident Handling;  
            • Advanced Network Security; and  
            • Penetration Testing.     

            As a result of the training, students will be prepared for the following six in-demand industry certifications:    

            • CompTIA A+;  
            • CompTIA Network+;  
            • CompTIA Security+;  
            • Cisco CCENT;  
            • EC-Council CEH; and  
            • ECIH.     

            The STEM Workforce Challenge Grant will also fund the creation of a state-of-the-art lab to provide students with the hands-on-training employers demand. The lab will also allow CSN to increase enrollment capacity by 30%. The projected growth rate through 2022 of jobs requiring cyber security skills is 29.8%. Students can expect a starting wage between $45,000 and $55,000 per year growing with experience and additional training to the mean industry wage of $84,620. 

            Students receiving a Cyber Security AAS degree and an advanced Certificate of Achievement have the option of transferring their credits to one of Nevada’s four-year universities to continue their training, acquire more credentials and advance their careers. CSN expects the first students to graduate with a Cyber AAS degree in the spring of 2018. When students graduate, CSN and the Las Vegas Chapter of the Society for Information Management have partnered to develop an internship program to assist students find employment.

              The City of Henderson has partnered with McKinsey and Transmosis to create an employer-driven IT Bootcamp, Externship, and Job Placement program, funded with a $114,200 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant. The program will be modeled after similar programs in other cities that have graduated and employed over 1,200 students. The Bootcamp will be intensive, six hours a day for ten weeks. Curriculum will be tailored to the needs of individual employers while professional mentors and an individualized action plan will be provided to each student. At the conclusion of the program, students will be prepared to earn nationally-recognized IT certifications such as CompTIA A+ and Network+. 

              The program will be located in downtown Henderson at the Pinnacle Building on Water Street and will target students who are unemployed, underemployed, or are otherwise determined to be high-risk. The group has partnered with Gallup to track the well-being of participants, return on investment for employers, and the program’s efficacy. Henderson plans to begin training in June, 2016 and train 45 individuals annually. Graduates are expected to start at $18 per hour.

                Nevada State College received a $54,746 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to create a Horticultural Science Certificate program. Funding from the grant will be used to develop curriculum for the program, and build a 25,000 square foot outdoor garden farm, and build an indoor hydroponics garden for on-site training. Graduates will help grow Nevada’s budding sustainable desert and indoor farming industry, resulting in increased agricultural independence and decreased food importation. 

                Curriculum for the two-semester program will include desert ecosystems, permaculture, hydroponic systems, and technology as a means to maximize production. Students will be exposed to the latest research on food production in arid climates and will also spend several hours per week engaged in faculty-mentored fieldwork in the garden. Graduates will be prepared for jobs such as garden, vegetable farm, or greenhouse managers; plant nursery workers; produce inspectors; hydroponics equipment management and sales; or garden consultants with landscape architecture agencies. Starting salaries for these jobs fall between $17 and $30 per hour. NSC expects to train 15-20 students per cohort. The program will begin in Fall, 2016.

                  Western Nevada College (WNC) received a STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to modernize its welding certificate and degree programs to meet the needs of the region’s advanced manufacturers. The $142,000 grant will be used to purchase a robotic welder and associated curriculum. WNC will pay to upgrade its facilities to accommodate the new program. The new curriculum and teaching tools will teach students: 

                  • metallurgy;  
                  • to understand gases and interactions with metals;  
                  • the mathematics of welding; and  
                  • how to program the robotic welder.    

                  Program completers will be able to program KUKA and FANUC robots. WNC will offer two tracks, a traditional track delivered in a 16 week semester and an accelerated track that meets 24 hours per week. Together, the two tracks will accommodate up to 40 students. The first cohort will start Fall 2016. Starting salaries range between $17 and $24 per hour.



                    Tracey Howard
                    680 W. Nye Lane, Suite 104
                    Carson City, Nevada 89703
                    Telephone: (775) 687-0989