Special to the Pahrump Valley Times - Graduates of the recent classes funded by a Brownfields grant are from left back row, Jenny Parzik-Benda, Byron Foster, Michael Haynes, Robert Krueger, Justin Smith, John Noble, William Gray, Kelly Fillmore, Terrie Riisager and Levi Nixon. Middle row: Corey Iaascs, Leo Marchetti, Liisa Park, Lorissa Phillips, Jeff Gregory and Robin Young. In front: David Jones, Dennis Babcock, Patrick Maples, Donald Hughes and Robert Miller.
NyE Communities Coalition graduated its first group of students who took advantage of the recent job skills classes offered through an almost $200,000 Brownfields grant. The classes began in August and of the 28 people who qualified to enroll in the classes, 22 graduated with eight either state or federal certifications, which will aid them when seeking employment.
NyECC Education Director Tim Wigchers said, “Those students just graduated so we don’t have any placement information. The Environmental Protection Agency picks two thirds of the classes we offer. We had a list of classes we could choose from to round out the curriculum.”
He said the staff made calls to area businesses such as the new propane company here, SolarReserve in Tonopah and Round Mountain Gold to see as employers, which of the elective classes they would like to see on a resume.
“We went with their input,” Wigchers said. “A lot of the classes deal with safety and it stands to reason most employers would be interested in someone who had those qualifications.”
The classes are designed to provide unemployed or under-employed students the broad array of skills and professional certifications necessary to enter the environmental remediation market.
The six-week course offered 157 hours of training. There were three sets of classes offered. The first began in August, the second begins today and the third will begin with two mandatory classes only offered in December before taking a break and resuming studies Jan 8.
Wigchers said there are about 12 seats left for the final set of classes but the deadline to apply is Oct. 18.
Prospective students must be Nevada residents, be 18 or older, have a high-school diploma or GED, be physically able to participate and the most important thing — be willing to commit to be on time and attend every class.
“We take applications, but not everyone who applies will get to take the classes,” Wigchers said. “We go through an interview process and try to determine who is truly interested and will commit to get something out of it.”
After the application is submitted, Wigchers said the applicants will be interviewed by a three-person team. “They will be contacted if they are accepted and will have to schedule a mandatory drug test before orientation.
“The graduates are enthusiastic about their prospects of finding employment,” Wigchers said. The schooling has a value of $2,500 to those participating. The classes are free.
“It is an honor to announce the first graduating class for Nye County’s Brownfields Workforce Development and Job Training Program,” said Andrew “Butch” Borasky, Chair of the Nye County Board of County Commissioners. “Congratulations to each and every one of these students for their hard work and commitment to the program. Nye County deeply appreciates our partnership with EPA and with NyE Communities Coalition. Their support for professional job training helps the community by putting people to work in jobs with a solid career path.”