Truckee Meadows Community College is pleased to announce it has received a second round of funding from Nevadaworks, "a regional agency focused on preparing northern Nevada's workforce to meet the needs of current and potential northern Nevada employers."
The $163,000 grant will be used to provide 10 scholarships for low-income students who are striving to gain employment in the new and exciting field of geothermal power.
The scholarships will provide tuition, fees, and the costs of books for the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters. Students in the GPO scholarship program will also receive assistance with obtaining employment in geothermal energy companies upon graduation.
As part of this grant, TMCC has committed to providing placement services for graduates of the scholarship program for one year from the date of graduation. This financial support will help alleviate the financial burden for students who are struggling to overcome economic hardship.
TMCC's Geothermal Plant Operator (GPO) training program is the first of its kind in the United States, and only the second globally.
The program, a 34-credit, Certificate of Achievement, was designed with guidance from a Geothermal Power Advisory Board consisting of members from many of the geothermal power companies headquartered in Reno, Nevada. The curricula were developed with the assistance of subject matter experts and an instructional systems designer to ensure a comprehensive, high-quality program.
The first students in the GPO program began studies in the fall 2012 with graduates finishing during the summer 2013 semester. Thus far, we have successfully placed 88% of our recent graduates as Certified Geothermal Plant Operators with an average entry level salary of $23.00 per hour, full benefits, and plenty of opportunity for overtime.
In 1998, the Workforce Investment Act was established. The intent of the law is to provide workforce training services to job seekers thus increasing their employment potential, job retention, and earnings while at the same time meeting the employer's demands for a skilled workforce. The Workforce Investment Act established Local Workforce Investment Boards throughout the country. Nevada has two local boards: Nevadaworks in the north, serving thirteen northern counties—Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey, Washoe, and White Pine; and, Workforce Connections in the south—serving Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln and Nye counties.