WNC and DETR launch ‘ROADS Project’ to help unemployed and underemployed Nevadans

Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 11:14 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Western Nevada College (WNC) and the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) are paving the road for a better life in the Silver State with a new project.

“Nevada is in need and we want to help strengthen the current workforce,” said WNC Workforce Development Liaison Michael Boreham.

More than getting people jobs, The Realizing Opportunities for the American Dream to Succeed (ROADS) Project is about preparing unemployed and underemployed Nevadans for a rewarding career.

ROADS will provide participants with the necessary skills to help fill positions in different sectors, including manufacturing, health care, and technology.

“One of my favorites is Construction Project Management,” said Boreham, who is also coordinating the project. “We’re working with somebody now who is really just stuck in the rut, working in the field, has a desire to grow but you know, it takes a lot of time and the growth is limited on that side. With our help, we’re going to build the right relationships, get the right training underneath his belt, get him in the management side, office side and I just know he’s going to flourish once we create that opportunity.”

The average training time is six to eight weeks and upon completion, participants receive a certificate.

ROADS will also offer recruitment, assessment, soft skills training, job placement, mentorship and more.

“The stats are showing us that 52 percent of the jobs in our state require more than high school but less than a four-year degree,” said WNC president, Kyle Dalpe. “There are four-year degree needs out there, but to get people started, we can put them in a pathway that has a short-term skill certificate.”

One of the biggest pieces of this project is that it caters to the student.

“The time commitment is very scary, especially when people are established in their jobs,” said Boreham. “Fortunately we offer a lot of ways to tackle those obstacles life throws you. There’s support with things like daycare or for lost wages, there’s support for transportation, is limitless.”

Funding for ROADS comes from DETR. The agency will not only refer clients to the program but will also help participants once their training is complete.

“Either enroll them in our career enhancement program, where we provide any cost that they need for acquiring tools perhaps or some type of clothing item, you know, make the transition smoother for them to return to the workforce,” said Theresa Petersen, manager at the Carson City JobConnect office. “We also provide other services like resume preparation or if they would like to do mock interviews with us and then, we also help them with job placement.”

If the program succeeds, the hope is it will return through another grant and eventually create a model for duplication throughout the country.

Applications will be processed until funding is no longer available, and according to Boreham, there are no specific requirements.

If you’re interested in furthering your education or exploring a new career path through ROADS, go to wnc.edu/roads.

For more information, you can contact the coordinator at 775-470-9242 or email him at michael.boreham@wnc.edu.

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