WNC Career and Technical Education offers something for everyone

Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College

Western Nevada College offers a vast range of opportunities for individuals to build their futures through Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Employers seek skilled talent. Jobs requiring some higher education often pay a premium of 60 percent over non-STEM jobs.  Whether one semester of targeted education or a two- or four-year degree, CTE higher education is a great investment.

With greater than 12 million college and high school students taking CTE classes across the country, community colleges have become an important part of this education process.


Addressing this need, Western Nevada College’s CTE Division offers a range of degrees, certificates of achievement, and certification and licensing preparation so students can meet their higher education goals and find careers that suit their goals and skills.

Photo by Cathleen Allison
Career and Technical Education Director Georgia White, left, gets a lesson from American Sign Language students Lyssa Goldsworthy, Sierra Shaw and Mary Smith during the Career and Technical Education Open House at Western Nevada College in Carson City on Oct. 20, 2016.

“WNC’s Career and Technical Education programs prepare professionals and technicians for the workforce,” said WNC CTE Director Georgia White. “WNC works closely with advisory boards, Northern Nevada Development Authority and other professional groups to align curriculum with current and future needs for skilled talent.

“WNC works with employers to identify industry credentials that reflect a student’s/graduate’s competency in a particular area,” White added. “The CTE division continually adds credentialing opportunities as needed to meet changing industry requirements.”

Students are finding a diverse range of training within WNC’s CTE Division, including technology-based fields, hands-on skill programs and civic careers.

Public Sector
If serving and helping people is your aspiration, then WNC has Criminal Justice, Deaf Studies, Education and Business programs to help realize those dreams.  Students may begin education at WNC and move directly to the workforce or may transfer to four-year institutions after receiving a two-year degree.

Education students also have the bonus of completing their bachelor’s degree at WNC. Through a partnership with the Nevada State College School of Education, students who complete their associate degree at WNC are able to take their courses via live simulcast at WNC locations and online, preparing them for certification and licensing.

Another promising and rewarding field right now is Deaf Studies. These students are discovering a positive job outlook because laws require that equitable services be available to the hard of hearing. This has increased the need for more interpreters in schools, public agencies and health care facilities.

Changes to WNC’s Business programs are providing students with important community contacts, real-world training, marketable skills and the opportunity to transfer to a four-year business program as a junior.

WNC Criminal Justice Professor Richard Finn familiarizes students with the Criminal Justice profession through internships and field trips. WNC students have been interning regularly with the Carson City Department of Alternative Sentencing and the Nevada Department of Probation and Parole Office in Reno to see if the profession suits them.

“I want the students to experience the day-to-day work that is done in the office,” Finn has said. “I also have them do a ride-along (if they so desire) with the department to experience what is done in the field. This gives them a very real experience of what the profession of parole and probation entails.”

Photo by Cathleen Allison
Student Michael Long, left, talks with Instructor David Fulton in the Machine Tool Technology lab at Western Nevada College, in Carson City, Nev., on Monday, March 14, 2016.

Hands-On Career Development
If the goal is to build a marketable skill set, then WNC’s programs in Welding, Machine Tool, Construction and Auto Mechanics can transform someone’s career in as little as 16 weeks.

In fact, WNC offers accelerated training in Machine Tool and Welding that are 100 percent funded through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant. The grant has enabled the Machine Tool program to add more than $300,000 worth of equipment to its inventory, including three new CNCs, which are machines that are helping drive the local manufacturing industry.

“Having these new CNC code machines, we are able to train students better to get their foot in the door,” said WNC Machine Tool Instructor David Fulton.

Also helping Fulton train his students to become machinists and machine operators are eight brand new engine lathes and three new vertical mill machines.

There also is accelerated training in Construction and Automotive Mechanics. Individuals can take up to four Auto Mechanics classes per semester to prepare for Automotive Service Excellence certification exams that more and more repair shops are requiring. The program is not only for students prepping for a successful career as an auto mechanic but for individuals already employed in the field who want to upgrade their skills and certifications.

Those interested in Construction career can prepare for the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Construction Craft Laborer credential, which certifies that individuals possess basic knowledge needed on any job site. If they want a larger role in the Construction industry, such as a manager or supervisory role, individuals can pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Construction Management or an AAS degree in Construction.

Photo by Cathleen Allison
CISCO Technology Instructor Dave Riske works with students Sergio Teutli, rear, and Chrissa Johnson at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nev., on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.

With many people already tech savvy from the Internet and communications explosions, technology is a means for many to develop a very satisfying career.

Opportunity knocks in Computer Information Technology as individuals are groomed to work in many different areas of business, supporting the technological systems, networks and programming efforts that drive society and the economy. The program allows students to specialize in programming, networking or systems administration.

For those looking for a more creative role in the technology sector, Graphic Communications offers many opportunities. Individuals can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree and become quickly employed in careers such as print design, Web design, multimedia, digital video and animation.

The growth of manufacturing in the area — spurred by Tesla and Panasonic — has created fast-track programs that will reward the dedicated and disciplined student with positions in high demand, high paying careers. WNC offers training that will help individuals pass the Manufacturing Technician I credential and Siemens Certified Mechatronic Systems Assistant Level 1 certification.

For more information about WNC’s CTE program, 775-445-4272, or visit or

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