LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There are thousands of valley residents looking for work. The good news is, there are training programs available to help. As 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean reports, some of the most in-demand jobs are within reach for locals looking to get back on the payroll.
"Hone in on some skills you didn't think you had," says Crystal Naegle, Department Chair Elect for Applied Technologies at the College of Southern Nevada.
Naegle is speaking from experience. She learned all about how to be an air conditioning technician at CSN. Now she's teaching there and wants others to know it's never too late for a career pivot.
"It is not hard to find a job. These essential jobs are out there and they need help. There is a nationwide skills gap," says Naegle.
PROGRAMS IN ELECTRONICS
The school's Department of Advanced and Applied Technologies covers a wide range of jobs: auto and diesel maintenance, nursing assistant and medical office practices, plus plumbing and a program averaging one of the highest in entry-level pay, electronics technician.
"We have several different programs in electronics. Bench technicians are the kind of folks dealing with, there's circuit building, troubleshooting. We also do programs in telecommunications, and in the electronics program we have the countries only slot machine repair technician program," says Michael Spangler, Dean of Advanced & Applied Technologies.
He says another program offering a great starting salary is Welding.
"Our welding programs have short duration skilled certificates. Those are programs that can be finished in one semester and get you in the door as an entry-level welder," says Spangler.
AIR CONDITIONING TECHNICIANS
There's also excellent pay in the A/C programs.
"We try to fit all the different areas that need air conditioning technicians. It's not just for cooling buildings. It's also the control systems and building automation for large structures," says Spangler.
WORK & GO TO SCHOOL
There are also short-term programs available for anyone already working and looking to sharpen their skills to stay competitive. If your concerned about the cost, there's financial aid to help pay tuition. Naegle says you could also earn a paycheck, while still learning.
"I have employers and contractors that say, one or two classes, get some skills and come work for me. Then they can work and go to school and at the same time," says Naegle.
INVEST IN YOURSELF
The bottom line according to Naegle is, there's no excuse for not trying.
"Invest in yourself. Take one or two classes. Take the leap. If you don't like it then you'll know. But if you like it, your life will be forever changed," says Naegle.