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Nevada adds another apprenticeship program

Updated February 16, 2018 - 4:40 pm

Nevada is beginning to deliver on a promise to boost its workforce training programs.

The Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation — created by executive order in 2016 to manage and bolster training programs — said last July that it aims to boost the number of apprenticeship programs in the state by 10 percent within the next five years.

At the time, Nevada offered 78 state apprenticeship programs. As of Feb. 6, Nevada offers one more.

Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s local workforce development board, has launched a workforce development specialist apprenticeship program to prepare individuals interested in workforce development careers.

The new program has two sponsors: Truckee Meadows Community College and Workforce Connections. Manny Lamarre, executive director of the workforce innovation office, said the program will offer more than 600 apprenticeship opportunities across the manufacturing, health care and workforce development sectors.

Truckee Meadows Community College will work with Panasonic, Renown Health and others to train industrial maintenance mechanics, machine operators, production operators and certified nursing assistants.

Apprenticeships provide structured on-the-job training and mentoring while compensating apprentices under a merit-based, earn-as-you-learn wage system.

“It’s a way to really upgrade our workforce and provide them the appropriate skills, education and credentials to be successful, particularly as we think about reducing the skills gap,” Lamarre previously told the Review-Journal.

Nevada is 200,000 jobs short of the national average in five of the state’s emerging target industries — aerospace and defense, natural resources, business information technology ecosystems, health and medical services and manufacturing and logistics.

“We have three goals,” said Lamarre. “The first piece is to have new programs. The second piece is to have an increased number of apprentices, and the third piece is increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities at the apprentice level,” Lamarre said.

Panasonic has committed to hiring 500 new apprentices.

“As we work to build on our state’s economic successes, we have to create opportunities for Nevadans to acquire the skills needed to be effective in the labor market,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. “I am proud of the dedicated work of the State Apprenticeship Council members and OWINN as they create a bridge between our students and the apprenticeship opportunities that will help Nevadans to meet the needs of employers statewide.”

Contact Nicole Raz at nraz@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

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