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Las Vegas leaders discuss local workforce challenges

Posted at 4:56 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 00:26:57-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There were a lot of passionate discussions today as Southern Nevada leaders met with U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Gov. Steve Sisolak.

One hot topic was exposing younger generations to different job options that don’t necessarily require an expensive 4-year degree. Many of these job options are not what people think, utilizing the sciences and the arts with good pay, like mining or even marketing.


"I don’t care if they don’t get a 2 or 4-year degree. If they can take 2 or 3 classes or courses and become proficient in something to support themselves and get more education, I think that’s a positive all the way around. We lost an entire generation where folks thought if you didn’t go to college and get that traditional degree, you weren’t quite up to par. That’s wrong. It’s absolutely wrong," said Sisolak.

Another big issue being discussed is people not wanting or applying for the jobs that need to be filled. The medical field and staffing shortage were brought up also.

Damon Schilling, the government affairs manager for AMR & MedicWest Las Vegas said, "The pipeline is dry. We’re coming off of the anniversary of 9/11 and I remember when 9/11 occurred, you would line up to become a firefighter or a police officer or a paramedic and you were up against 10,000 applicants for maybe a hundred jobs. You see those same positions and those same large municipalities that are good-paying jobs and it’s just gone."

Some programs that these groups are heading are pathway to paramedic and the valley center opportunity zone. Both of these programs are directed at helping marginalized communities get on their feet and be successful.

"I think we need to focus on the pipeline, which you’re all bringing up is a situation at an earlier age. By the time they are getting out of high school we’ve lost them," Sisolak concluded.

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The big takeaway is the use and expansion of workforce dollars and direct them to these programs or initiatives to create more interest and diversity Nevada’s workforce.

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