GOED to Present Project SANDI Programs at National Conference in Las Vegas

May 16, 2022


CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) SANDI team members will be leading workshops on at the 38th annual meeting of the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) in Las Vegas held at the South Point Hotel on Tuesday featuring the role that virtual reality plays in workforce development.

“In order to engage communities who in the past have not been reached through traditional channels or are now ready to retrain or upskill, but who are the most vulnerable and in much need of support, we have developed a unique methodology which we termed the SANDI Community of Practice” (CoP), said Tammy Westergard, Project SANDI Coordinator at GOED. “This approach is bringing together workforce professionals in the public and non-profit sector from every county in Nevada at local and state levels. The annual NAWDP conference to be hosted in our State will present an opportunity for Nevada to showcase its leadership in employing cutting edge educational and career navigation technologies as well as its unique stakeholder engagement approach.”

Project SANDI team members will be leading three workshops: “Feel the Learn – How virtual reality amplifies upskilling and talent,” “Fly in Close Formation: Grow Bandwidth through a Community of Practice,” and “Hello, meet my colleague and my co-bot”.

Project SANDI’s Community of Practice members include Nevada’s public librarians with workforce duty assignments, community college career counselors, One-Stop coaches, state and municipal agency partners, and community non-government organizations. Utilization of cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) content will not only provide immersive experiences, such as virtual job shadowing, but also provide a more effective way of understanding opportunities offered by Nevada’s high-growth industries and high demand occupations within it. VR will additionally provide on-ramps to credentials and certifications for careers in those growing Nevada industries. Furthermore, precision career navigation will be enabled by an enhanced and fully integrated version of the Nevada Career Explorer, a career information Software as a Service (SaaS) database. Navigators from the SANDI community of practice will use the platform to help direct career seekers to courses that are completed in weeks not years and offer tuition reimbursement. Successful students earn industry recognized credentials.

“We developed a 10-step process to train each member to use every technology enhancement efficiently for the benefit of every Nevadan seeking or changing a career,” said Jahairy Rivery, Lead Career Navigator Project SANDI.  “This Process is designed to streamline communication between navigators, functions, and institutions, and keep Nevadans learning and earning.”

“Motivation and design of the architecture and approach has been driven by the need to offer help and assistance for career-seekers to navigate the impacts posed by the challenges of technology changes such as Artificial Intelligence and automation on the workforce”, said Karsten Heise, Senior Director Strategic Programs, and Innovation at GOED.  “The Pandemic has only accelerated those changes, and this will further exacerbate uncertainty. It will be very hard to impossible to predict how these changes will play out. We only know that the pace is very likely to increase significantly. Hence, there will be an ever-increasing need for providing intelligence on Nevada’s growing sectors and careers that are in high demand. The importance is that this information will be dynamic and needs to constantly adjusts to real conditions. It also means that while utilizing platforms like the Nevada Career Explorer there is still an increased need for human-to-human interaction providing effectively ‘hand-holding’ assistance, and this is where the community of practice comes in.”






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.


About Project “SANDI”

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Stabilization Fund-Reimagination Workforce Preparation (ESF-RWP) Discretionary Grants Program called for new ways to create or expand short-term education and training opportunities and/or or career pathways programs with educational providers and institutions to become entrepreneurial in finding new ways to more quickly meet the needs of students, employers, and their local community. As one out of only eight states Nevada was awarded for the Supporting and Advancing Nevada’s Dislocated Individuals (SANDI) project. 



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