To stem rising unemployment numbers and stabilize Nevada’s economy, officials need look no further than the state’s current workforce.
That’s the vision UNLV economist Alan Schlottmann presents in “Linking Higher Education and Workforce Development.” The 42-page report examines how federal workforce development dollars can stimulate job growth and help Nevada businesses train existing employees for internal positions requiring more advanced skills.
The report provides an alternative to the traditional economic development approach of using tax incentives to draw businesses from other states.
Schlottmann argues that training workers in key sectors will create new jobs. A worker who upgrades skills in engineering, healthcare, manufacturing, or management creates a possible job opening in the position they leave. This approach eliminates the need to recruit skilled workers from out of state and allows another Nevada resident to fill the vacant position, thus creating a potential “two-for-one” employment opportunity, Schlottmann says.
The availability of training and temporary wage assistance also will give employers an incentive to hire individuals with skill gaps and provides opportunities for critical technical occupations in short supply among Nevada workers.
According to Schlottmann, supporting existing businesses to boost economic development has been recognized as a valuable concept and is a priority of Nevada’s Workforce Investment Board. The report also outlines how Nevada System of Higher Education can be a partner in the effort to enhance the workforce development system in Nevada.
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 27,000 students and 2,900 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus in dynamic Southern Nevada and is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.