TMCC playing key role in economic growth

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) The campaign to recruit new businesses may begin in places like the governor's office or the Economic Development Association of Western Nevada (EDAWN).

The tax structure, available land and incentives may bring them to the table but the conversation quickly turns to the workforce.

"At the end of the day, most corporations, large and small, understand that people are their most important resource," says Dr. Karin Hilgersom, President of Truckee Meadows Community College.

And as often as not, that brings TMCC into the conversation very early. In recent years the school has worked closely with economic development efforts, creating training programs and classes to create that qualified work force.

The variety of what the school offers is impressive, not just the obvious fields of high tech and advanced manufacturing, but some surprising needs as well.

For instance, Hilgersom says all this new industry will need in the coming years hundreds of heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians.

"Those data centers rely on a lot of air conditioning to keep all of the gear and equipment cool. So, we've got the program. It's up. It's running. It's ready to go. We've had a lot of support from our industry partners. Now we just need the students who realize that these are really great jobs."

And though response to new businesses is key, Hilgersom says the school also needs to anticipate future needs.

"We need to beef up our programs around cybersecurity, because that is really a field where we've got to do a better job in this country of providing training for all levels of cybersecurity, because it's becoming more and more of an issue to do business."

And she says what we're seeing now she expects to continue.

"I've never lived in a place where the various elements worked so well together," she says. "It's like a well-oiled machine. It's a great time to be here."