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Congressman: Millions in funding coming to Nye County

Pahrump is growing and so is the need for more resources for those that call the not-so-rural-anymore town their home.

Congressman Steven Horsford visited Pahrump on Friday, where he met up with several local leaders, among them the Nye County commissioners, USDA Rural Planning Network, educators, medical professionals and veterans. Pahrump has grown in population to what is estimated at more than 50,000 residents by the U.S Census, which was over a 30 percent increase in population since the last count.

“My job as the representative for Nevada’s fourth district is to represent the people,” Horsford said. “The best way to do that is to listen and learn from them on the issues that are facing the Pahrump community.”

Issues like building out the teacher pipeline and what it looks like to go to school in Pahrump were the subjects in a roundtable meeting with the directors of the district, Genoveva Lopez-Angelo, assistant superintendent and Chris Salute, director of the Great Basin College in Pahrump.

The teacher pipeline has always been a struggle, said Lopez-Angelo, but this school year, there are some candidates interested in the program.

Currently through federal investments, there are colleges in Nevada that are already providing cost-effective education degrees for future educators. Salute believes that the college could tap into those grants to have a similar program soon to “grow” their own in the community.

But many teachers are currently feeling the rising cost of living and that has made it very difficult to get educators to move to Pahrump, according to Kenny Weaver, an assessment and accountability director at the district.

Currently, Desert View Hospital has the second largest nurse apprentice program in Nevada. Horsford wants to see if the hospital’s model could address the shortage of medical personnel in rural areas.

In another roundtable meeting with the hospital staff, Susan Davila, the CEO of the hospital, told the congressman that when the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds run out at the end of the year, the hospital could be negatively impacted.

That could mean the end of the program that is the second largest in the state for adding nurses to the workforce, a program Cynthia Downey got her start in. She went to Great Basin College and took advantage of the opportunity to go to school and practice nursing in her town.

Now she’s a registered nurse who doesn’t see herself leaving anytime soon for elsewhere.

Soon the congressman will send faculty to study the hospital’s program and take a worker to Washington, D.C. to speak before Congress about their program.

Horsford was able to secure a $1 million award for the Tonopah Child Care Center, which is critical as there are currently no licensed child care providers in Tonopah.

This will also get people back to work in Tonopah. The Duckwater Tribe will also see a $500,000 investment to help build permanent infrastructure.

Pahrump is also receiving funding for a civic center with $1 million grant the congressman was able to get the town. He was last in Pahrump to present the money to the commissioners.

The town also received a check for half a million dollars for the Community Project Fund for the Pogue Summit Road Paving Project.

“This is all because Pahrump deserves to have investments that improve their quality of life,” Horsford said.

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