GOED Introduces Workforce Program to Meet Employer’s Needs

April 12, 2021

CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) will fund $100,000 through its Workforce Innovations for the New Nevada (WINN) program to pilot a technology training program at Truckee Meadows Community College that uses microcredentials to prepare future software developers.

“We have listened to industry leaders and worked closely with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) to understand the workforce needs of technology companies coming into Nevada,” said Stacey Bostwick, GOED Director of Workforce Development. “TMCC has put together a proof of concept to help prospective technology employees develop the foundational skills they will need to enter the career field.”

Karsten Heise, GOED Director of Strategic Programs, describes TMCC’s program as an efficient, cost-effective “on-ramp” to a comprehensible software development pathway. “On this pathway, the learner completes short-term modules or ‘badges’ aligned with their career goals which are then equated to college credits. Over time, the badges and credits can be aggregated or ‘bundled’ to correspond with more traditional college certification levels, such as skills certificates and certificates of achievement, that can be stacked on top of one another to earn a degree, if desired,” he said. “The model is breaking new ground for creating workforce development programs. The learner has the flexibility to customize their experience, progress at their own pace, and collaborate with employers to gain the exact skills needed for on-the-job success.”

Bostwick is anticipating the first TMCC software development boot camp will start as early as April. The self-paced program, offered on-line with access to in-person support, is designed to be completed in six to 10 weeks with full-time academic participation. The modularized badge program provides a unique test-out option that allows students with demonstrated competency to focus on new skill development and accelerated completion. Integrated career exploration activities will engage students with local employers, positioning them for employment upon program completion.

“The pandemic magnified the need for short-term, stackable training programs that connect Nevadans to living-wage jobs with career advancement opportunities,” said TMCC President Karin Hilgersom. “Our vision, in partnership with employers, is to strengthen the education to employment pipeline, ensuring that students are well-positioned for current and future career success. The TMCC Tech Careers FastTrack boot camp is the beginning – providing an accessible entry point for Nevadan’s, regardless of background, into the rapidly expanding technology job market.”

TMCC has a history of successful workforce development programs in partnership with local employers. To date, more than 600 apprentices have trained through TMCC’s nationally recognized American Apprentice Initiative to learn skills aligned with a dozen employers. Additionally, TMCC provides a range of incremental credentials, as well as third party/industry recognized certifications, that can be stacked to earn 2-year and 4-year degrees.

Prior to the pandemic, software developers were in high demand across several Nevada’s key industries and growing rapidly across nearly every industry to include healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, and service industries. Since the pandemic, the demand for software developers has exponentially increased. The pandemic has also given rise to more IT Customer Success entry-level jobs across all industries.

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About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and the Governor’s Office to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development. More information on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can be viewed at diversifynevada.com.