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New program offered at WNCC Douglas campus

Staff reports

Job seekers in Carson Valley may take a “first step” to earn employability skills through a new program offered at Western Nevada Community College.

Eight certificates of completion will demonstrate to potential employers exactly the kinds of skills students have acquired and can put immediately to use.

Beginning in August, “The First Step” program will be offered at the Douglas campus of WNCC.

“We’re putting together a brochure called ‘The First Step’ which will list these eight certificates of completion programs and market them as a first step for a lot of people to get education and training,” said Douglas WNCC campus Dean Bus Scharmann. “The brochure will be ready by the first of July or maybe sooner.”

Each certificate earned in a specific job-skill area will include 15 credits. These could be obtained in a year or two, even while the student works.

The certificates are:

n Electronics technology.

n General business.

n Computer information systems.

n Office administration.

n Accounting technician.

n Early childhood education.

n Word processing, computer applications.

n Animal production technician.

Fliers on each certificate are available now at the WNCC Douglas Center in the Mountain View Professional Center in Gardnerville; call 782-2413, Monday-Thursday.

The idea for the job-oriented certificate programs came from the WNCC Douglas Advisory Committee, who surveyed employers in the Valley to determine what kinds of skills they want their employees to have.

The animal production technician certificate was suggested by John Laxague, a WNCC instructor, advisory committee member and Gardnerville feed and supply store owner. He said many Valley ranch workers would benefit from a program teaching them the basics of animal science.

All of the courses require basic academic skills in the areas of English or communications and math, plus specific job-related courses.

After earning the certificate and obtaining a job, a student could continue at WNCC part time to obtain a certificate of achievement representing 30 credits completed and further skills acquired. A student could even transfer to a four-year university if desired.

The new program is being piloted at Douglas WNCC and will be offered at the campus, Bently Hall at Bently Science Park, or at Douglas High School where various night classes will still be taught.

The new Douglas campus opens Aug. 21 with grand opening ceremonies. The public is invited.