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NSC president: Endorsing public education key to economic growth

Dr. DeRionne Pollard
Posted at 10:03 PM, Jun 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 19:03:23-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Developing our valley into a talent ecosystem to provide a sustainable source of economic growth and potential. That’s the message of a local college president who says the key is to improve educational opportunities in our area.

“While we celebrate the gaming industry, we can’t continue to let our economy be guided by games of chance.”

Nevada state college president Dr. DeRionne Pollard Making a key point to the audience to not be complacent and to diversify the economy in the Las Vegas valley. Speaking at the 2022 Las Vegas Perspective, Dr. Pollard says investments in public education is the key to attracting and creating talent.

“You cannot talk about workforce development. You cannot talk about economic development if you’re not talking about education as the core of that,” she said.

She acknowledges gaming as played a huge role in bolstering the Las Vegas economy for years but says the risks of automation is coming to the hospitality industry. Dr. Pollard says schools should expand courses and degrees in occupations of need like teaching and nursing and says Nevada State College is moving forward with that.

“We are the state college. We served the entire state and more importantly we are crafting the workforce into high-skilled, middle-income jobs and more,” she said.

Dr. Pollard says this also means reinforcing the public education system to better prepare students for college and improve quality of life in the long-term.

“Living in a well-educated community means you have greater voter engagement, less crime, less dependency on public assistance,” she said.

She argues not only will talent be created, but also attract talent from elsewhere such as big corporations looking to build their base of operations in the valley and bolster economic growth. Dr. Pollard says it takes a village to make this a reality.

“We all want to take our right of responsibility in this. I think we can create different future that any of us could have even imagined,” she said.

Dr. Pollard says using the recovery funds from the federal government towards improvements can be the first step.