Apply now for full scholarships at WNC in technology-related fields


Chase Thompson watches as Candi Gray works in a welding class at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nev., on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Photo Source

Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College

They’re our next paramedics, nursing assistants, machinists, mechatronics engineers and computer information technologists. But, right now, they can’t afford the higher education training those fields require.

That’s where the William N. Pennington Career and Technical Education Scholarship at Western Nevada College comes into play. Through the generosity of the William N. Pennington Foundation, Western Nevada College is offering full scholarships in rewarding career fields. The William N. Pennington CTE Scholarship has been created to support students who are pursuing certificates and degrees in fields that are in high demand with local employers.

“During my years in business, I was fortunate to work with thousands of wonderful employees, all of them Nevadans. I am grateful to all of them for their hard work, commitment and friendship. Their efforts helped create this Foundation, and I hope this Foundation will, in turn, help future generations of Nevadans for many years to come,” the late William N. Pennington once said.


Olivia Parkerson of Fallon is a recent recipient of the scholarship. She has a short-term goal of becoming a certified Emergency Medical Services technician and a long-range goal of completing WNC’s new paramedicine program.

Trae Workman and Justin Bardling practice skills on Josh Wilcox during an EMS class at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nev., on Thursday, March 28, 2019. Photo by Candice Vivien/Nevada Momentum

“I aspire to become a life-saving paramedic, the men and women who risk their lives every day to save those in need under any and all circumstances,” Parkerson said. “Paramedics are the medical professionals who are out in all weather and put their lives aside to save those who need immediate medical attention. This profession is what makes a difference in the healthcare system every day as they are who draws the line between life and death.”

To enhance his chances at employment, 62-year-old student William Gumm of Gardnerville is pursuing a new career in manufacturing through the William N. Pennington Foundation CTE Scholarship.

“In the future I will use the Machine Tool Technology degree I am earning at Western Nevada College to work as a machinist or CNC machine operator in local manufacturing,” said Gumm, who has made the Dean’s List at WNC. “I want to thank Pennington and WNC in advance for assistance in helping me reach my educational and future employment goals.”

The scholarship is also helping mechatronics student Mohammad Esmaeilisarbaghi earn more credentials at WNC so he can increase his chances at a promotion to TESLA’s engineering team.           

Mechatronics students work at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nev., on Monday, Aug. 12, 2018. Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Momentum

 “I love my job and right now this work is as enjoyable as any hobby I might pursue,” said Esmaeilisarbaghi, a maintenance technician at TESLA. “Working in the field of high tech allows me to be on the cutting edge of new technology. I am excited to help bring sophisticated and sustainable solutions to address modern problems. I specifically hope to join the engineers on the design team, where I will be able to work on a team that is focused on problem-solving and improving the production processes.”

Western Nevada College was granted $200,000 in scholarship funding for students pursuing professional careers in welding, automotive mechanics, machine tool technology, manufacturing, construction, building/home inspection, truck driving, phlebotomy, nursing assistance and emergency medical services.  

This generous funding will enable students the opportunity to learn valuable skills to enter Nevada’s diverse workforce.

The William N. Pennington Foundation CTE Scholarship application will remain open until funding is exhausted. 

More than 150 students received Pennington Scholarships last year.

Apply now for a William N. Pennington Scholarship at or call 775-445-3240 for additional information.

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