When Janice Ayres, head of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, said she was offering volunteer services to help the state through the hiring freeze and budget cuts, Carol Lucey, president of Western Nevada College, jumped at the offer.
She called Ayres and asked for a meeting to discuss what those volunteers might be able to do at the college.
"We can help with just about any category you can come up with," said Ayres. "We just need to know from them what kind of volunteer work they need and a job description of what they expect volunteers to do."
Lucey was unavailable Friday but Anne Hansen, WNC spokeswoman, said the college thought Ayres' offer was a great idea.
"We put out e-mails to all the various departments and asked them to look carefully at what tasks volunteers might be able to assist with," she said.
Hansen said there are quite a few vacant positions at WNC because Lucey instituted a hiring freeze in August, before the governor announced a state freeze and called for budget cuts.
The freeze included faculty positions as well as support staff and administrators. She said the Learning Center Coordinator position at the Fallon campus is empty, the duties being handled by two other staff.
Hansen said she expects departments to request help in a large number of areas.
Ayres said she has access to volunteers with a wide range of skills - many retired professionals including teachers and doctors. And she said they don't actually have to be retired or senior citizens to volunteer through RSVP.
"As soon as they tell me what they need, we'll start recruitment," Ayres said. "And I told her we can help in any county," she said. "I've got staff in all the rural counties."
Lucey said 10 days ago that the 8 percent budget cuts proposed at that time would force closure of all WNC campuses except Carson City and Fallon. That cut is now down to 4.5 percent but because of WNC's small size, officials there say the college would still be seriously hurt.
Hansen said from clerks and support staff through various technical and even professional positions, any qualified help RSVP can provide would reduce the impact of budget cuts on services to students.