Nevada Week S1 Ep23 Web Extra | Education and Business Leaders Continue the CTE discussion


We had such
a great conversation on Nevada Week about
the workforce in Nevada and the training
and everything that we wanted to
come back and share a few more insights
with our panel here. ♪♪♪ (Casey Smith)
Victor, let’s
start with you. Let’s say you have a
young lady coming to you on the fence about
being an electrician. How would you
motivate her or screen her,
if you will? (Victor Fuchs)
We have a tremendous
diversity program within the company. Anybody, as long
as they have the right attitude
and some level of maybe
technical ability, we will train them
to do the job. We have plenty of
female electricians working in the field
and doing a great job. We recently graduated
several of them, and one of the
people was through the workforce– -Hope for Prisoners. -Yes, and she’s doing
an incredible job. She’s one of
our superstars. So this is just
a recent accomplishment. -We’ve talked a lot about
these types of things. I’m sure you have
success stories, right? Can you share a few. (Perry Ursem)
When Kerry was principal
at Southeast CTA, she went to a conference
and was introduced to a group
that represents Fanuc Industrial
Robotics Systems. Fanuc, if you’ve ever
seen the Tesla videos where they make the cars
in Northern California, that’s the technology. Kerry started this
conversation– -Northern Nevada.
-Northern Nevada? (laughter) That’s the batteries
but the cars are in California.
Nonetheless– -Victor is
our ambassador. -But Kerry
was instrumental in bringing a Fanuc lab
into Southeast CTA. Her team reached out
to our organization and said hey,
who in Southern Nevada uses Fanuc
Robotic Systems? When we were looking
through this, we said we don’t know. So we put it out there
to the manufacturing community,
and lo and behold, a paper converting
manufacturer in North Las Vegas,
Clearwater Paper, said hey, we use
those systems. So it was really cool. We got the School
District and Clearwater together to have
a conversation on what we thought
was going to be an opportunity for
student internships, and it developed
into a teacher internship
opportunity. Teachers got to go out
and see how these robots work in industry,
and when they came back in the classroom
in the fall, they were able to say
well, this is what the book says
but let me tell you how they really
work in industry. That was phenomenal,
and we’ve seen more of those kinds of
opportunities as well. (Jeannie Kuennen)
I’d say
speaking of Tesla, we were partnered with
the CTEs, and then JAG, where we relocated,
I think up to 50 now graduating seniors
up to work at the Gigafactory
up north. These are kids that
just graduated school and going to high-paying
jobs right away. -Explain JAG and CTE
if you would, please. -I’m going to
turn it to– (laughter) (Kerry Larnerd)
JAG is a
national program, and it focuses on
our most at-risk populations
in high schools. Rene Cantu is
the director of JAG for the state of Nevada,
and they really do a lot of
wrap-around services. They do intense training
with the soft skill pieces and really do
an incredible job. JAG had a group of students
they were taking up and then I had
a group of students at Southeast Tech
and Mojave High School who were in our
manufacturing program. We took the kids up,
the JAG kids knocked it out of the
park in the soft skills and our kids knocked it
out of the park in their technical
abilities to become production
assistants. Tesla took us all
on a bus up there. They interviewed
the kids and they were
off and running. That was a
pilot program. We have expanded
and doubled every year, this will be
our third year, sending students up there
to go into those jobs. But they’re high paying,
again full medical, and the students, after
a certain period of time they actually pay for
their coursework at Truckee Meadows
Community College to keep earning
certifications or to start on
a pathway toward an associate’s
or a bachelor’s. So it’s just been this
incredible partnership and just continues
to grow and invigorate what our students are able
to do in our program. -So “JAG” is Jobs
for America’s Graduates, correct?
-Yes. -And the website would be
the best way to go for info?
-Yes. -A lot of success here. What can we do better? What’s left
to conquer here as we move into probably
a booming economy that we’re
looking at here? -I think we need to
figure out how to market and brand what
we’re doing here and get it to parents,
get it to the kids earlier in the years,
set up classes, and we’re encouraging
our people to talk to schools.
set up classes actually on campuses at school,
not at Helix University, where it’s
readily available and educate young kids
about excitement of being in the
construction industry. Construction industry
in the past used to be like a gloomy deal. You’re working
in the dust, you’re working
in the dirt, but we’re creating
buildings. We’re creating
gigafactories. I mean, the Gigafactory
when it’s all done, it’s going to be
almost a 30-million square-foot building
under one roof. And our people that
worked on that job were like wow,
that’s an opportunity in a lifetime,
especially being an electrician and the
type of technical work that was being
done there. It was amazing. -I think it’s
how to engage that disengaged
workforce. People that have
been unemployed for a long
period of time, people that have been
on public assistance for a long
period of time, how do we engage them? How do we engage
youth that have dropped out of school? -It’s also the
perception of industry. A resource partner
of ours, Terry Culp, the deputy director
of Nevada Industry Excellence,
their organization works with manufacturers
in the community, something that
he always says is manufacturing is
perceived to be a dark, dirty and scary industry
when the reality is that it’s clean,
it’s very technical, and the occupations
are career opportunities that are in many
cases six-figure opportunities for those
that get into that. So how do we
educate folks about what industry looks like,
but then also to what Victor was saying,
and that is how do we develop
modules of industry, bring them onto campus
and then get those students aware of what
those opportunities are. Start them
in that framework, and then if anything
as they graduate, now they have
some experience, the industry’s had
a chance to kind of test to see what those
potential workers are, and again, it makes
the hiring process that much smoother. -How has
the government been? Governor Sandoval’s
tried to push some of these,
but has it mainly been where they just
step back and say okay, let’s see how
it’s going, or have you needed
a lot of help or asked for
a lot of help? How has it been
working out? -Well, one of the ways
we’re able to, we built a program at
Desert Rose Tech Center where we have five
high schools coming and getting
technical training but still graduating
from their high schools. We were able to secure
funding from Owen to buy and purchase that
manufacturing equipment, so they are
getting engaged, and Dieter paid for
the electrical upgrade we needed at the school
to bring that stuff in. So I think
for our purposes and what we really
need on our end is– and Perry and I talk
about this all the time– there are a lot of people
doing amazing things and we’re all
wanting the same thing, but we’re
working like this instead of working
in the same direction and being connected
to each other where we’re
far more powerful and able to maneuver
and do incredible things. We’ve got to get
pathways through our community colleges,
with kids getting college credits where
they can get on and off of work plus getting
certifications and credits, and all of these pieces
and then having these partnerships
with businesses to all be moving
in the same direction. -So synergy like
that would probably involve the legislature. Are there things that
we’ve got planned for the next
legislative session? -Oh, gosh, it’s funny. I guess I’m so in the
trenches with industry that when it comes
to the policy side, I’ve got folks
in our office that are focusing
energies on that. I have to say though
over the last 10 years, again coming through
this Recession, props to
Governor Sandoval and props to my
former boss, Steve Hill, who’s now the president
and CEO of the LVCVA, and former
executive director of the Governor’s Office
of Economic Development. These were
two individuals that when we were
at our worst came in and
worked tirelessly and were innovative
in attracting new forms of business,
again Tesla, Apple and a number of
other key companies, that has really
changed the dynamic of where Nevada is today
to where we were last and we’re now top
and we’re actually doing things,
and again unemployment, it’s now first-world
problems of jeez, where do we find the
people to fill the jobs whereas ten years ago
it wasn’t like that. So again you talk
about leadership and you talk about–
not just the governor and Steve Hill,
but all those that are
involved in this that have been
instrumental with bringing us
out of this Recession and making us a leader from a national
standpoint in recovery. -From a business
standpoint, how’s the
government been? -Business is booming. We just need
to figure out how we keep up and
produce the skilled labor because especially
in the construction industry, we don’t
generate gadgets. We’re not
manufacturing things. We’re basically
producing a skilled laborer force to go
and build those buildings out there,
and the challenge is to make sure that we
bring people fast enough. That’s really
the challenge for us. -This has been great. Thank you all
very much. ♪♪♪

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