August 17, 2007

WNC Receives Major Grant to Assist Manufacturing Industry

Western Nevada College was recently awarded a $101,000 grant from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. The grant is designed to develop curriculum and deliver instruction for maintenance workers employed in area manufacturing industries.

Industry representatives in Carson City, Fallon, and Fernley have expressed the need to provide their employees with electrical, instrumentation, mechanical and welding training. While most companies are willing to pay for training, they also desire instruction that won't interfere with production. WNC is currently in the process of preparing curriculum that is delivered as independent study, web based instruction.

"The DETR funds will help the college assemble a curriculum desperately needed by local companies," said Bus Scharmann, dean of the Fallon campus and Rural/Workforce Development, and also project director for the grant. "The pay-for-skill model to which most companies agree gives employees the opportunity to move up the career ladder and receive pay raises as they demonstrate additional competencies within the maintenance profession."

WNC full-time professor Emily Howarth was contracted to develop much of the curriculum. "We are ready to deliver the first courses," she said. "This fall we will offer a four-credit, entry level maintenance class called Applied Industrial Technology, which will give the student basic instruction in electrical and mechanical skills, as well as controls. The initial class will set the stage for future courses that are still being developed."

According to Howarth, the spring 2008 semester will witness the availability of a second electrical course in high performance manufacturing. All of the courses will be structured for online delivery in an effort to avoid interference with an employee's working schedule and a company's production goals.

Scharmann expressed his appreciation to DETR for funding this project and his hope that industries within Western's 18,000 square mile service area will engage him in dialogue about using this training to benefit their maintenance workers.

If individuals or company officials have questions or seek additional information, they should contact the WNC Fallon Workforce Development Center at 775-423-5847, or Scharmann at 775-423-7565 Ext. 2224.

For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu


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