Students working in manufacturing, industry earn Siemens credential at Western Nevada College

NSHE, WNC and Nevada manufacturing leaders recognize Siemens certification recipients: Nevada manufacturing and industry leaders joined WNC and NSHE officials in honoring students who earned Siemens Mechatronic Level 1 training certification during a ceremony last month at the Carson City campus.

NSHE, WNC and Nevada manufacturing leaders recognize Siemens certification recipients: Nevada manufacturing and industry leaders joined WNC and NSHE officials in honoring students who earned Siemens Mechatronic Level 1 training certification during a ceremony last month at the Carson City campus.

Technicians from around Northern Nevada are demonstrating their skills, knowledge and value through the innovative Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program at Western Nevada College. Working in the field of industrial technology and returning to the lab and classroom to earn internationally recognized credentials and college credit requires determination, and a personal and professional investment.

Five recent grads of WNC’s Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program are proof of that commitment.

Two General Electric equipment technicians, a Click Bond engineering technician, an industrial maintenance technician at Reno Cerakote and Hydrographics, and an industrial maintenance technician at Basalite Concrete Products made the time to enhance their professional careers. They completed the WNC’s accelerated Mech Tech program for Siemens Mechatronic Level 1 training.

The five recipients of the Siemens credential are Ricardo Fregoso, Ezequiel Varela, Arturo Martell, Matthew Robison and James Butts.

“When employers send their technicians to this training program, they are investing in their own technical workforce and in the strength of Nevada by contributing to the development of skilled workers — these middle-skilled careers offer family-sustaining wages and opportunities for upward mobility,” said Emily Howarth, an electronics and industrial technology professor at WNC and a certified Siemens mechatronic instructor.

These training program classes are small and intense, and focus on the methodology of thinking like a problem solver, not just a task worker. WNC is uniquely positioned to offer technicians the ability to upgrade their knowledge and skills so they can return to the workforce with new ideas and recognition of their value to the organization. Employees with Siemens mechatronic certifications contribute to organizations’ productivity. These individuals bring adaptive expertise to the automation production systems of manufacturers and distribution centers.

The accelerated class covered 80 hours of training spread over a month, in addition to a large body of additional coursework outside of class meeting times.

Accelerated Level 1 training will be offered this spring. Level 2 Siemens certification begins Feb. 20.

Robison learned about WNC’s Mechatronic Program from his brother.

“When I looked into it, it looked like it would help me in my field. So, I took my vacation time and paid for it myself,” he said.

Robison will now be able to return to his employer, Reno Cerakote and Hydrographics, with a larger skill set and a desire to earn additional Siemens certifications at WNC.

“The tool that I enjoyed the most was ToolingU; it had a data base on several different classes, essentially, on different topics from basic to advanced in pneumatics, electronics, mechanical, PLCs, and to be able to fill in that back information was a very valuable tool. Being able to work with people in the classroom setting hands-on was very valuable as well,” Robison said.

The SMSCP is a comprehensive industry skills certification offered in partnership with professional education institutions worldwide. The technical program of study covers electrical, mechanical, fluid power, and PLC (programmable logic controller) control systems intertwined to form modern automation, as found in high-tech Northern Nevada manufacturing, logistics and distribution facilities.

“It is easy to get and keep an entry-level manufacturing job in Nevada but to move up the ladder requires hands-on skills and technical knowledge,” Howarth said. “WNC offers the programs to get started and move up in a high-paying career field.”

The best way for individuals to get started as a technician is to earn their Manufacturing Technician (MT1) certification in a series of three classes, then proceed into mechatronics.

“The Siemens Mechatronic Program is not an entry point; it builds upon work experience and college coursework to further develop the skills of industrial technicians,” Howarth said.

WNC is Siemens’ lone partner school in the Western United States to offer this special set of teaching and learning methods developed over 25 years through its technical schools in Germany.

To learn more about Applied Industrial Technology and Mechatronic programs, contact Howarth at

Yerington Students Building Construction Résumés, College Education in High School

A half-dozen students at Yerington High School are taking advantage of Western Nevada College’s Jump Start Career and Technical Education program to earn valuable construction credentials while earning college credit.

Yerington/WNC construction management students Sam Cota, Pedro Maldonado, Alexis Mata Ramos, Michael Sam, Ryan Barnes and Luke Stokes completed the OSHA 10-hour safety course and the National Center for Construction Education and Research safety and core curriculum certifications during fall semester.

During the upcoming spring semester, this group of students will complete the NCCER Basic Craft Laborer and Basic Crew leadership certifications while earning college credits toward the Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Construction Management at WNC.

“They have been exposed to work ethic traits, numerous construction career paths, industry resources and other personal and professional development information that will set them apart from other applicants after graduation,” said WNC construction instructor Robert Ford.

To learn more about WNC’s Jump Start CTE opportunities, contact Hillary Nelson at 775-445-4272 or

Research Company Ranks WNC’s Online Graphic Communications Program in Top 4

The Best Colleges has touted Western Nevada College’s Graphic Communications program as one of the nation’s best for its online education.

WNC has been ranked No. 4 nationally in The Best College’s Top Online Associate Degrees in Multimedia Design.

“I was able to accomplish the online curriculum with the help of dedicated adjunct faculty — Jennifer Smith, Lee Stokes and Jaime Aust — along with my inspired, creative and hard-working students,” said Jayna Conkey, WNC Graphic Communications professor. “Engagement, interaction and instructor availability to students have proven to be the keys to the success of the online Graphic Communications program.”

The Best Colleges referred to WNC’s online Graphic Communications 60-credit degree program as innovative. The timing couldn’t be better to consider a career in graphic design as the TBC reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of multimedia artist and designer jobs to increase by 6 percent during the next decade.

For more information about WNC’s Graphic Communications program, contact or phone 775-445-4293.

Still Time to Register as Spring Semester Nears

With spring semester classes commencing Monday, Jan. 22, students will want to register as soon as possible to get the classes and schedule they want.

Visit to get started. If you are planning to attend WNC for the first time this spring, you should first apply for admission at

Student Services will be available to help students during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. For more information, phone 775-445-3344.


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