Grant helps retrain workers for Nevada manufacturing careers

Nevada Industry Excellence joins with collaborators to offer free certification program to prepare workers who have been laid-off for available jobs

A robotic arm shakes hands with a human hand

Grant helps retrain workers for Nevada manufacturing careers

Nevada Industry Excellence joins with collaborators to offer free certification program to prepare workers who have been laid-off for available jobs

A robotic arm shakes hands with a human hand

Nevadans who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be retrained at no cost, preparing them to work in high-demand manufacturing careers, thanks to a new, online program supported by a federal grant from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The Manufacturing Technician (MT1) Express Online Certification Prep is offered through Western Nevada College in partnership with Empower America, Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno and Nevada Industry Excellence.

“With COVID-19, Nevada went from having one of the strongest job markets in the U.S. to having one of the highest unemployment rates in the U.S. As late as July of 2020, there are 138,000 fewer Nevadans working than just one year ago,” said Mark Anderson, director of Nevada Industry Excellence, the statewide Manufacturing Extension Program hosted through the University of Nevada, Reno. “However, as a whole, advanced manufacturing is growing in Nevada with hundreds of high-paying jobs continuing to go unfilled.” 

Through the Manufacturing Technician Express Online Certification Prep program, students gain foundational knowledge and skills needed in advanced manufacturing, including math and measurement, quality and Lean concepts, and an introduction to manufacturing processes. Problem solving skills are developed while learning about simple machines and industrial systems through practice with computer and web-based tools.

“Our goal through the MT1 training program is to provide a bridge for those who may not have gaming, hospitality or other jobs to go back to, and to help them gain the skills needed to start careers in manufacturing,” Anderson said.

To be eligible for the free training, people need to be Nevada residents with a high school diploma or equivalency.

Manufacturing Technician Express Online Certification Prep includes two self-paced, online college courses offered through the Automation and Industrial Technology Center at Western Nevada College. Students successfully completing the coursework will have the opportunity to earn their nationally recognized Manufacturing Technician Level 1 (MT1) certification though three industry certification exams. The first course, “AIT 101: Fundamentals of Applied Industrial Technology,” is offered Oct. 12-Dec. 18, 2020. The second course, “AIT-200: Applied Industrial Technology Projects,” is offered Oct. 26-Dec. 18. The program requires basic computer skills and computer access with high-speed internet.

Through the training students may have the opportunity to interview with companies throughout Nevada that have job openings, including Panasonic Energy of North America and Sierra Nevada Corporation.

In northern Nevada, those interested can get more information and learn if they qualify for the retraining by contacting Aubrey Nelson of Community Services Agency, (775)786-6023, ext. 1021 or anelson@csareno.org.

In southern Nevada, those interested can get more information and learn if they qualify for the retraining by contacting Nevada Career Center as follows:

The Manufacturing Technician Certification is endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers.

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