WNC professor serves as keynote speaker for manufacturing conference, receives Fellowship Award

AIT Professor Emily Howarth talks with Ricardo Fregoso and Ezequiel Varela during a lab at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nev., on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. Photo by Cathleen Allison/Nevada Photo Source

Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College

For years, Western Nevada College and its student body have seen firsthand the energy, spirit and determination demonstrated by Professor Emily Howarth in creating and expanding the college’s Automation and Industrial Technology program and growing the number of career opportunities for her students in manufacturing.

Fittingly, the Manufacturing Skills Institute tasked Howarth with firing up attendees for its ninth annual Workforce Solutions Symposium on Aug. 5-6. The electronics and industrial technology professor served as the kickoff keynote speaker for the virtual event focusing on workforce development and educational best practices from industry, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions from across the United States.

Howarth’s presentation covered lessons learned about the power and leverage of industry certifications for developing the manufacturing workforce for all Nevada employers, including WNC’s partners at the Gigafactory, Tesla and Panasonic. Industry certification is a crucial component of workforce development for aerospace, mining, logistics, distribution and food production — all local industries.


At the conference’s conclusion, Howarth was among five recipients of MSI’s prestigious Fellowship Award. The award is presented to individuals who have been active in workforce development for manufacturing, support one or more MSI-related credentials or services and has attained distinction in manufacturing-related disciplines.

WNC’s Technician and Siemens Mechatronic System Certifications combine in-class and online lesson and lab experiences to prepare students to begin or upskill their advanced manufacturing careers.

“Western Nevada College has been recognized as a leader in visionary teaching and learning through our programs that prepare students to enter the workforce above entry level, and also to cultivate technicians that work in the field as they climb ladders through advanced knowledge and skills,” Howarth said.

Howarth has made multiple trips to Germany to upgrade her teaching skills and credentials from Siemens, Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company, so the college can do its part in growing Nevada’s technical workforce.

In 2018, Howarth earned her Siemens Mechatronic Systems Level 2 instructor credential in Berlin, making her part of a select group to hold this elite vendor-neutral certification. Her skill set now covers a wealth of modern technology found in manufacturing, logistics and distribution environments with a focus on a preventive and predictive approach to supporting systems.

In that same year she also served as a technical instructor trainer for Siemens in Spartanburg, S.C., where she helped prepare a new class qualify for Level 1 training certification.

WNC remains as Siemens’ sole partnering school in the western U.S. This program is available in Carson City through a partnership between WNC and Siemens Professional Education and is not offered anywhere else in the western U.S. Enrollees can gain this prestigious credential in a small class with other technicians from Northern Nevada industries.

Start your career pathway in manufacturing by enrolling in a Fundamentals of Industrial Technology class that begins on Aug. 31. Classes are also available for technicians already working in the manufacturing industry so they can advance their careers.

Learn more about WNC’s Automation and Industrial Technology program at or by calling 775-445-4272.

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