LAS VEGAS—The College of Southern Nevada plans to break ground this year on the Westside Workforce Education & Training Center, a campus designed to train unemployed and under-employed residents for sustainable, better paying jobs. The project is a partnership between CSN and the City of Las Vegas and made possible through a $6.9 million CARES Act grant.
The 10,000-square-foot facility is planned for a two-acre site in Ward 5 near the Historic Westside School on West Washington Avenue. The area was chosen in part because of its high unemployment rate—typically exceeding that of Clark County by 100% or more.
The goal of the center is to support students in gaining entry-level skills training so they can emerge and find a “viable career” that pays a “family-sustainable” wage, according a statement from Nevada System of Higher Education, which oversees CSN. Programs will focus on the area’s industries with the greatest labor demand, including advanced manufacturing, construction trades, information technology and healthcare.
The site also plans to offer English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, High School Equivalency, Job Readiness and “soft skills” training.
“Once trained, up to 300 residents can expect to obtain high-wage jobs every year,” NSHE said.
CSN president Federico Zaragoza has successfully helped to build similar programs in the past during his tenure with Alamo Colleges in San Antonio, Texas.
“This is incredible news for our community — particularly for those unemployed and under-employed individuals who need pathways and opportunities for high-wage jobs and a solid educational foundation,” said CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza. “Working with our partners in the City of Las Vegas, we will build bridges from community to college to the workplace that have a proven track record in the real world.”
City of Las Vegas Ward 5 Councilman and former NSHE Regent Cedric Crear added, “Workforce training is something that I have long been an advocate for and I am excited by the possibilities created by this grant and what will be created with our partners at the College of Southern Nevada. As we have told the community, this new program will round out our Ward 5 Works Workforce Center with initiatives within the HUNDRED Plan in Action to expand employment opportunities.”