The Clark County School District is accepting applications from students for a new school opening in August that will focus on construction technology and advanced manufacturing, two industries that officials say are huge in southern Nevada and continue to grow.
Gia Moore, director of college and career readiness and school choice for the district, said the yet-to-be-named technical training academy will prepare students for careers in these fields by giving them the opportunity to gain experience and qualifications such as general site safety training and commercial and entrepreneurial skills.
Classes in the construction program will cover general construction skills, as well as basic skills related to electrical, plumbing, and HVAC and framing systems, the district said. Meanwhile, courses in the manufacturing program focus on safety, engineering design, power systems, and principles related to electronics and instrumentation.
The school was developed with input from partners including Workforce Connections, a local Southern Nevada workforce development body, and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, an economic development agency, Moore added.
The school, located at Maryland Parkway and Oakey Boulevard in downtown Las Vegas, is expected to enroll at least 250 students in its first year and will expand in the coming years.
The new academy comes as the manufacturing sector sees a significant increase in demand for skilled and technical workers as industry shifts toward automation and robotics integration, according to the 2022 Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance staff plan. The new jobs created as part of this shift are expected to be more complex and require specialized education or training and entail higher-paying, entry-level jobs.
According to the blueprint, infrastructure-oriented companies in areas such as civil engineering also have difficulties finding workers. A third of these positions are considered difficult to fill due to “labour shortages and misalignment between workforce development and industry demand along with access to career paths and worker retirements”.
“So that’s our effort to respond and put these students in really lucrative career paths that allow them to really develop as professionals and the opportunity to take multiple paths in relation to each of these programs,” Moore said .
The school accepts Applications from now until 2 of interested sophomores across the district with at least eight credits, including one English and one math credit, which the school says will be earned by the end of the 2021-22 school year Online FAQ sheet. It will only serve juniors in the first academic year and add seniors the following year.
Small class sizes of around 25 students will be a hallmark of the school, partly for safety reasons. Students will work with specialized equipment, including power tools, said Lilianna Bonderov, who will serve as the school’s principal.
The new academy will be a good fit for students looking for flexibility in their schedules, as some of the courses will be offered in a hybrid or distance format, giving them the opportunity to complete some of their coursework outside of class time Online Promotional Information for school.
The hope is that this gives students the time to apply the skills they learn in class to internships, apprenticeships, or other work-based learning experiences. The school will connect students to these opportunities through an on-site one-stop careers center in partnership with Workforce Connections, Moore said.
“They can serve as a great connector to connect our students and their families to these opportunities and experiences,” she said. “We need to be able to get them excited about what that’s actually like in the workforce, not just hypothetically talk about it in class.”
The school is also trying to appeal to students who may not have academic success in a traditional Clark County high school, Bonderov said.
“We’re trying to get them back into their education efforts through this work route, and we’re going to be offering some credit recovery opportunities for students who may be behind on their credits and need some additional opportunities to get those credits to graduate. ” She said.
Unlike other high schools or career and technical academies (CTA) in the district, this technical training academy does not offer certain curricular and extracurricular opportunities such as honors and advanced placement classes, music or physical education programs, although Bonderov said students may still do so may take advanced courses through Nevada Learning Academy or Apex Learning, which offer distance learning courses approved by the Nevada Department of Education. Students also have the opportunity to participate in career and technical organizations such as SkillsUSA.
Bonderov said the school is also considering offering concurrent enrollment opportunities, which would allow some students to stay at their home school during the day and pursue industry certification opportunities at the technical training academy in the evenings.
“Our focus is really on providing students with professional skills and work experience, and we want them to ensure they have the flexibility in their schedule to pursue employment, sit in, do an internship – whatever suits you when it will bring a leg up it’s time to graduate – and then decide to either enter the workforce or continue their education in one of those specialties,” Bonderov said.
The new technical training college isn’t the only new school the Clark County School District is working on. The district plans to open two CTA schools in the next few years. The first is a CTA school in north Las Vegas that Moore said will offer a range of programs including energy technologies and human and social services. It is expected to open in the 2023/24 school year.
The second is a CTA school in Henderson, scheduled to open for the 2024-25 school year. That school will include programs such as health sciences and sports medicine, and Moore said the district hopes to affiliate this school with the Raiders training facility, which will be located nearby.
The Clark County School District has seven career and technical academies that serve more than 11,000 students, according to enrollment figures from the Nevada Department of Education.