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Lawmakers Hash Out A Workforce Pipeline For Faraday

Julia Ritchey

Lawmakers are inching closer toward a tax package today aimed at luring electric carmaker Faraday Future to North Las Vegas.  One key component to the package is a revamped workforce development program.

Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey is in Carson City with the latest.

While top lawmakers have been working all Friday to resolve some sticky water rights issues, the assembly has had the even less sexy task of tackling workforce development.

6 PM Friday Update: The workforce development bill  referenced in this story has passed the assembly and now heads to the senate.

Dale Erquiaga is the governor’s chief strategy officer. He’s been testifying on the need to better train state’s labor pool.

“Nevada’s skills gap is worsening as our economy diversifies," he says. "We have a need for a different kind of worker with a different kind of skill set in what the governor likes to call the New Nevada Economy.”

The bill on the assembly floor now would re-allocate $2.5 million of state funds toward a new program called Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada, or WINN for short.

It would allow state officials to meet with new businesses to develop training programs actually catered to them through local partnerships.

Erquiaga says most community colleges don’t have the startup money to fund these types of training initiatives on their own.

“We cannot expect the system to be the true engine of our workforce development system without providing them with those capacity dollars," Erquiaga explains.

The program is modeled after similar ones in Georgia and Louisiana. The assembly bill also calls on new employers to develop a diversity plan to channel more jobs to minorities.

The Faraday deal is expected to generate about 4,500 jobs in Clark County, half of which will be filled by locals. 

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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