March 1, 2016

Fallon-WNC Partnership Helps Teach Tech Skills

The road to becoming an Information Technology employee in the Fallon area just became a lot smoother.

Western Nevada College will assist Churchill County Library and the Churchill Economic Development Authority in expeditiously training Fallon area residents for entry-level Information Technology positions.

Best of all, tuition assistance is available for this Information Technology Gateway Training program because of a $46,322 STEM Workforce Challenge Grant received by Churchill County Library.

“Churchill County Communications installed gig Internet in the Churchill County Library, and I was trying to determine how best to leverage that resource,” said Carol Lloyd, director of Churchill County Library. “Daphne DeLeon, administrator with the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records, made me aware of the grant, and after a discussion with Rachel Dahl, Executive Director of Churchill Economic Development Authority, it was determined that this was the largest need in the community.

“After speaking to Georgia White with WNC, I knew we had our major partners to bring Information Technology Gateway Training to Churchill County and surrounding areas.”

The grant, which is funded through the State of Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology, will enable the partners to begin training Information Technology students this summer. Training will take place at the library, with courses being taught by WNC faculty members.

“We are excited about the opportunities the Churchill County Library grant will provide for local high school and WNC students,” said WNC Fallon Campus Director Sherry Black. “I believe the more certified a person is, the more marketable he or she will be. The certification itself can prove that the person knows more. When people stay current with IT security trends and techniques, they make themselves more desirable to an employer.”

The classes will accommodate students and the community businesses at the same time. The program will fill a critical need rural businesses have for homegrown entry-level IT talent, while providing training to students unable to make the 130-mile round trip to Carson City for WNC classes.

“From our standpoint in economic development, I’ve been hearing for the past two years how hard it is for businesses to find employees that have these skills,” Dahl said. “One of the driving forces behind this effort is to meet the needs of employers and the beautiful part of the project is it helps employers and it helps students.”

Block scheduling will enable 10-student cohorts to complete the ITGT in six to eight weeks, and the grant can accommodate as many as 240 trainees per year.

Besides providing the training necessary for entry-level employment into an entry-level IT position, students will receive the opportunity to earn recognized certifications such as CompTIA Security+ and A+ for Cisco Technology, as well as a variety of Microsoft-specific exams for Windows operating systems and networking certifications.

“Many of today's information security certifications require hands-on application of skills,” Black said. “Being able to pass the certification may give the student an edge over those who do not hold that certification.

“Anytime the Fallon Campus can collaborate with community entities with the end result being more education and training access, it’s a win!”

To learn more about the program, contact Carol Lloyd at 775-423-7581, extension 6 or at celloyd@clan.lib.nv.us.

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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