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Collie Hutter, National Expertise for TMCC

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Collie Hutter and Karin Hilgersom Image

Left to right: Collie Hutter, Chairman of the Board, Click Bond, Inc., and TMCC President Karin Hilgersom, PhD.

The fastening systems that Collie Hutter’s company makes have reached orbit as a part of satellites, and the expertise she has shared leading the Institutional Advisory Council (IAC) at Truckee Meadows Community College has helped the College create programs preparing students to reach highly skilled job positions now in demand in Nevada.

“The biggest impact we want to make in the Council is to help the community become more aware of what an incredible institution TMCC is and what wonderful opportunities community colleges offer,” she said. “TMCC is a resource that can change lives and futures for the better.”

Translating Industry Knowledge into Guidance for TMCC Programs

Hutter is Chairman of the Board of Click Bond, Inc., a manufacturer of advanced fasteners that are used in air, land and sea transportation, and for industrial applications. The systems are surface-mounted, so no drilling is required that would reduce the integrity of structures such as commercial jetliners. The fastening systems are used on oil rigs, by the military, in racecars, and theme park rides.

She is co-founder of Click Bond, together with her husband Charles. They have worked for many years building the company into the success it is today. After being awarded the Manufacturing Institute’s inaugural STEP Award for women of excellence in manufacturing, serving as president of the Nevada Manufacturers Association (NMA), and sitting on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers, Hutter was a natural choice to be nominated for TMCC’s initial Institutional Advisory Council in 2014.

“We were the first group, the initial members of the Council,” she said. “The president of each Nevada community college was asked to nominate 7-15 members of the community for that college’s IAC, with the choices approved by the chairman of the Board of Regents. Each group was then to elect its own chair and vice chair.”

Chair of the IAC, Collie Hutter

Hutter was elected Chair of the TMCC IAC and served a term of two-and-a-half years. Half of the first Council members’ terms are to end in December 2017 and half in December 2019, and from then on new members will serve four-year terms. The Student Government Association (SGA) and the Faculty Senate, respectively, nominate a student and faculty member who serve one-year terms as non-voting members. The Council meets quarterly and members serve in a volunteer capacity.

Governor Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature gave the community college IACs their charge, which is to be a liaison between Nevada’s employers, school boards, county commissioners, city councils and the community colleges.

Council members anticipate regional trends based on their industry or community experience.

The TMCC IAC advises the TMCC President, Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, the Chancellor, and the Board of Regents on long-term educational and training needs in the region. Finally, the Council is charged with promoting TMCC’s programs and services in the communities that the College serves.

Hutter says that the IAC’s mission is a coordinating effort, a connection with the community.

"It is our mission to reach out to employers and learn if TMCC's programs are meeting their needs and encourage the employers to work with the College to support programs that are training their current and future employees," she said.

Many industries benefit from the collaboration.

“The council reaches out to logistics, manufacturing, food service, hospitality, health care and other industries to learn if the College is preparing its graduates to meet the workforce needs in their fields,” she added. “We strive to meet the needs of employers and make sure that we’re training students for jobs that exist in this region.”

Helping Students Achieve Fulfilling Jobs

Hutter has extensive knowledge of logistics and supply chain to enable her company to run smoothly. She also has a great deal of experience building a workforce to support her growing manufacturing company. Hutter applies all of this expertise to projecting trends in Northern Nevada’s workforce needs.

“There are skilled workforce shortages in manufacturing, teaching, health care, and construction, with employers hiring,” she said. “The building of a pipeline of qualified students into TMCC programs has been a big focus of the TMCC IAC. How do we reach individuals in the community, to let them know that there are outstanding job opportunities in Nevada—and that a TMCC program leading to a certificate or degree will prepare you for these skilled jobs.”

Employers are looking for well-trained employees and will hire, if they can find workers with the right skills. That is where the Council comes in.

“Individually, we can’t do too much, but as a group, we can share best practices, and can come up with some great ideas to expand the College’s outreach, and TMCC has exceptional individuals serving on its IAC.” she said.

Hutter will serve two-and-a-half more years as a member of the Council, aiming to positively affect the lives of students. She is succeeded in the TMCC IAC Chairmanship by Elmar Dave̕, CEO of JMC North America.

For more information about the Institutional Advisory Council, please contact the offices of TMCC President Karin Hilgersom, PhD, at 775-673-7025, or watch past IAC meetings on TMCC’s YouTube Channel.