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Renovated Facility Ready for Emerging Economy

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Welding Equipment and Student Image

The William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center (ATC) at TMCC has undergone a two-phase remodeling project, now with increased capacity to train Nevada's workforce.

Five companies have announced since January that they are opening or are building facilities in Northern Nevada, joining a growing group of recently relocating firms: Tesla, Switch, Amazon.com, Inc., Panasonic Corporation and Apple Inc.

At the same time, the newly renovated William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center (ATC) also has additional capacity to train employees for these companies that represent an increasingly technologically-based workforce.

ATC, one of Truckee Meadows Community College sites, has recently undergone a two-year remodel and expansion project that will be completed by Fall 2016. Construction costs alone for the two phases of renovation have totaled $6.8 million.

“The new technology in place and added student study spaces at TMCC’s Applied Technology Center have increased the capacity to meet the needs of an emerging economy in Nevada,” said J. Kyle Dalpe, PhD, TMCC Acting President. “The facility is ready to train people for the emerging jobs in our local regions.”

Cutting-edge upgrades at ATC include the new production technologies laboratory equipment and two tall robots that can work on an assembly line: Bender and Baxter. Students use the robots to practice diagnosing and repairing electrical and mechanical production components.

Also, an enlarged Resource Center is becoming a gathering place for orientations and advisement. It will contain resource material for many of the programs.

“We are creating a whole new testing area that will join the old Resource Center with the computer lab that was next door,” said Patty Aragona, Adult Learner Concierge. “Since several of our programs are moving to the open-entry format, the Resource Center will be a hub for students.”

Equipment and labs for the Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC/R) Program have been updated, added Jim New, Dean of Technical Sciences.

“We’ve upgraded with an investment of more than $500,000 from various grants to deliver the commercial training required for commercial technicians at large data centers and the Gigafactory,” he said. “There will be hundreds of these positions in the next five years.”

Switch’s SUPERNAP will encompass a 6,487,241-square-foot, multi-building campus. “The world’s largest data center will likely require the world’s largest staff of commercial heating and cooling technicians in a single location,” New said. “Switch guarantees its clients 100 percent performance.”

Data centers require a room temperature within a specific range for the large computers to work most efficiently.

New companies will also increase the need for workers trained in fields such as production technology and home construction.

“Accompanying the demand created on the commercial side, the growing economy is going to stimulate new home construction for thousands of people, which will also create demand for HVAC technicians to install and maintain residential furnaces and air conditioners,” he added.

TMCC offers an HVAC/R Certificate of Achievement, and an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Construction Technologies with an HVAC/R Emphasis.

EDAWN Has Announced Five New Nevada Companies in 2016

Mary’s Gone Crackers® announced on May 23 that it is building a manufacturing and research and development (R&D) plant in the North Valleys Commerce Center of north Reno. The company plans to hire more than 200 staff members by the end of 2017. The company’s products include organic, vegan and gluten-free crackers and cookies. The food manufacturer has not yet announced staffing needs, but TMCC offers programs in the areas of general manufacturing and food processing:

The Production Technician Training Program is offered in a unique new open-entry, flexible scheduling format that allows students to work at their own pace through classes that have been divided into half-credit segments. Up to 12 credits may be completed by the conclusion of each semester. The Certificate of Achievement is a 32-credit program in total.

ArroHealth™ is a national company specializing in medical record coding, medical payment analytics, and medical record retrieval. It announced in February the opening of a facility in Reno.

“ArroHealth is expected to fill approximately 90 positions in the first year of operation,” according to an EDAWN press release. “Positions include: field operations, call center, coding and data analytics.”

In January, Jet.com, an online wholesale shopping site, opened a warehouse and distribution center in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, east of Reno.

“The company plans to hire 150-180 employees by the end of 2016, and another 350 within five years for more than 500 new jobs to the area,” according to a press release from EDAWN.

Samba TV opened an office in Incline Village in April. It offers clients real-time TV audience analytics for broadcasters and advertisers, and is also moving its data center to SUPERNAP in Las Vegas.

Cam-Concept USA has opened a U.S. Headquarters in Sparks, Nev. The company manufactures custom industrial equipment and cam-lift systems. Cam-lift is a system for lifting heavy materials. Lifts are used in construction, aviation, waste disposal, roofing, landscaping and agriculture.

“The company plans to hire 10 employees at an average wage of more than $28 per hour,” according to an EDAWN press release. “These positions include; machinists, welders, engineers and sales.”

TMCC offers these degrees in machining, welding and construction:

“In construction management, TMCC also offers additional skills certificates in construction estimating and construction project management,” New said.

DETR Reports Growth in Technical Science Careers

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) provides data on short-term and long term industry and occupational projections.

According to their short-term 2015-2017 projections for Nevada, there is an almost 20 percent growth predicted for machinists, close to 23 percent increase for welders, cutters, and solderers, and a more than 17 percent upward change in the need for first-line supervisors/managers of transportation and materials.

DETR estimates the highest average annual growth rates for Reno and Sparks' workers in the long term, 2012–2022, are in occupational areas which include the following:

  • Maintenance workers, machinery: four and a half percent
  • Helpers, construction trades: close to four and a half percent
  • Logisticians: four percent
  • Cost estimators: close to four percent
  • Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic: close to four percent

“TMCC’s automotive and diesel programs prepare individuals for maintenance worker positions, and there is also a skills certificate in the construction management area for cost estimators,” New added.

For more information about any of these programs, contact Patty Aragona at the William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center, 775-856-5323.

Certificate and Degree for Those Interested in Logistics and Logistics Management

Logistics is a robust and growing career area in Northern Nevada, say local experts in this field.

“TMCC offers a Certificate of Achievement: Logistics Technician that stacks into the A.A.S. and the new B.A.S.,” New said. The Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Logistics Operations Management was approved by NSHE and will begin in Fall Semester.

“Distribution and logistics are key to so many industries that are here now and industries that are coming,” said Michael Pender, Managing Director of Porous Power Technologies in a 2015 college news story. “You have to move things, and the movement of things is all about applied logistics.”

For more information about the new Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Logistics Operations Management, please contact the Business Division at 775-673-7132.