Article submitted by Bridgette Menist, The Abbi Agency
Over the past year, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation (GOWINN) and dozens of state and community partners collaborated to provide more than 500 dislocated and underemployed Nevadans free educational training programs for in-demand careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through the Supporting and Advancing Nevada’s Dislocated Individuals (SANDI) project.
With the anticipation of investing in 1,700 Nevadans, SANDI grant funding is designed to help those who were adversely affected by the pandemic, modernize Nevada’s workforce system, and expand remote access to short-term training for in-demand occupations using a digital platform. The program is expanding accelerated stackable certification programs in Nevada’s priority sectors, including healthcare, advanced manufacturing, logistics, and information technology (IT).
“The SANDI grant has helped to transform the lives of Nevadans by equipping them with the skills they need to succeed, while strengthening a workforce development infrastructure in the State that is innovative and responsive to employer needs,” said Lisa Levine, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation. “We are committed to continuing to support career pathways for Nevadans to increase labor force participation and diversify Nevada’s workforce.”
SANDI has convened various partners in both the public and private sectors to prioritize training, reskilling, and upskilling Nevadans through investment in certificate programs that increase accessibility to non-traditional students across Nevada. The initial round of SANDI graduates has a strong success rate of job placement in careers such as Certified Nursing Assistant, Dialysis Patient Care Technician, Certified Nursing Assistant, Data Analyst, Python Developer, Industrial Millwright, Mechatronics, Diesel Technician, HVAC Technician, Emergency Medical Technician, Front End Software Developer, Welder, and more.
For Endale Haile, a SANDI grant recipient, this scholarship has changed the course of his and his family’s life.
“After moving from Ethiopia to Nevada in 2017, I began the search for a career in Mechanical Engineering. I quickly found out just how competitive the market truly is here and knew I was lacking additional studies and qualifications if I wanted to get anywhere,” said Haile. “As a part-time math tutor and full-time father, I began furthering my education through the Data Analyst Training Program at Great Basin College. I was able to complete 30 weeks of instruction in only 15 weeks and am now a Senior Specialist working on my capstone project.”
Organizations that provide courses for SANDI students include partnerships with Nevada’s public community colleges: College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada College.
Outside training providers that assist in programming to these job seekers include but are not limited to: Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of Southern Nevada, Goodwill of Southern Nevada, High Sierra Area Health Education Center, NCLab, Nevada Department of Veterans Services, New Horizons Computer Learning Center, Northern Nevada Electrical Training Center, Professional Institute of Technology, Inc., Tech Impact, and V School.
GOWINN and numerous state agencies including the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Nevada Department of Education, Nevada System of Higher Education, Nevada’s Library Systems, and Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation look forward to continuing this ongoing partnership to expand and increase the job pipeline with hard-working, curious and passionate individuals representing all Nevadans.
To learn more about Project SANDI, find out how your employer or organization can become a partner, or to see if you are eligible to apply for a scholarship to begin your future in STEM, visit https://nevadajobconnect.com/Superhero.
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 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.
About Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation
GOWINN helps drive a skilled, diverse, and aligned workforce in the State of Nevada by promoting cooperation and collaboration among all entities focused on workforce development. Its chief objectives are to prepare all K-12 students for college and career success, increase the number of Nevadans with postsecondary credentials and increase labor force participation.