As part of its mission to invest in K-12 STEM education and STEM workforce training so that all Nevadans have the skills the New Nevada economy requires, the Governor's Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) offers STEM Workforce Challenge Grants, designed 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
- An alignment with present and future workforce needs in Nevada, as identified by relevant labor market information (LMI)
- Sustainability after grant funds have been exhausted
In the most recent round of grants, OSIT awarded $1,017,105 to build new STEM workforce development programs and promote existing programs, while $870,836 was awarded to five applicants in Southern and Northern 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 an OSIT STEM Workforce Challenge Grant to create marketing initiatives to promote their programs to potential students, parents and the community. The four applicants that received marketing funding 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 programs receiving funding from the most recent round of grants are:
- The University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC) was awarded $349,991 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. Additionally, UMC will use grant funds to purchase 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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. Funding from OSIT will pay for curriculum development, networking lab equipment, and instructional equipment.
- 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. Funding will be used to pay for equipment and training materials necessary to expand the program.
- 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.
For more information on workforce grants, visit www.osit.nv.gov/Grants/.