Center of Excellence: Training The Talent of Our Future

Submitted by Dr. Federico Zaragoza, President, College of Southern Nevada

The City of Henderson and the College of Southern Nevada’s (CSN) partnership to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence to address the workforce needs of the emerging production-based manufacturing growth in Southern Nevada is now a reality.  The new Debra March Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence opened in August of 2023 and is rapidly changing the landscape of manufacturing training and workforce development in Southern Nevada.

The region’s new home to both basic and high-end training in such areas as computer numerical controls (CNC), programmable logic controller (PLC), robotics, industrial automation, and production technology allows the Center to train people with little to no experience, as well seasoned manufacturing employees with many years of experience.

The region now has the infrastructure in place to guarantee manufacturers moving to or expanding in Southern Nevada that we have the ability and programs to produce world class employees, train new skilled technicians, or help to upskill incumbent workers. No longer will the region’s manufacturers have to worry about where to get qualified, highly skilled manufacturing workers.

The Debra March Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence model creates a regional partnership with local industry, the Clark County School District (CCSD), and community partners to produce and sustain a talent pipeline for our Advanced Manufacturing employers.  Our partners include workforce and economic development entities, like the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA), Manufacture Nevada, Workforce Connections, and local employers.

Dan Flick, Center Director, has put together a very robust and engaged advisory committee, eager to do whatever is needed to ensure that CSN and our partners will be producing appropriately trained and certified potential employees or enhancing the effectiveness and utility of incumbent workers.

With ever-changing teaching and learning technologies coupled with the continuous advancement of manufacturing processes and technology, Southern Nevada needed a high-tech facility and now we have it with the Debra March Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence.

The Center team will be striving to maintain relevancy to the manufacturing industry, especially with the speed of innovation associated with cutting edge technology. CSN’s advanced manufacturing director, Dan Flick, is already connecting with national and multinational manufacturing technology vendors such as Renishaw (a global engineering and technology company, specializing in precision measurement and healthcare), Haas Automation (manufacturer of Computer Numerical Control machines and equipment), and others, to showcase their latest products and services, along with any training opportunities they can offer local industry.

Moreover, the Center is serving as a catalyst to disseminate knowledge, information, and to facilitate “training the trainer” opportunities for both industry and education.  In fact, CSN is already partnering with companies including Entek Manufacturing, Pepsi, View Inc., Sunshine Minting, and Blue Bunny ice cream — with more to come. In addition, CSN is training the CCSD Career and Technical Education teachers, as well as Sunshine Minting workers on CNC and automation.

The City of Henderson and CSN are proud to establish and operate a national best practice center that is true to the Vision of its namesake, former Henderson Mayor Debra March in her commitment to addressing current and future skill and talent development gaps in the Advanced Manufacturing area. The future is bright for Advanced Manufacturing in Southern Nevada.

To learn more about locating your manufacturing facility in the Las Vegas valley, connect with LVGEA’s Business Development Team.