CSN’s role in the Southern Nevada Sustainability Center project

CSN does not shy away from outreach opportunities that stand to help the people of Southern Nevada diversify our economy. That is why I want to take this opportunity to let you know about an exciting partnership the college is ready to embark upon with a multitude of public and private entities to create the Southern Nevada Sustainability Center (SNSC).

The SNSC will one day serve as a hub for sustainable technology training and business development in North Las Vegas.

The SNSC concept, which may change as plans solidify, includes a technology development initiative, CSN job training, a business incubator program, community outreach, a policy development think tank and a cultural learning center that may include interactive pedagogical exhibits that explain sustainable technology in ways that make sense to the average Joe.

The idea would provide business owners, looking for ways to save resources, a one-stop shop for training programs, research and development, and perhaps access to seed money to create a new product. Residents could take advantage of the cultural learning center to teach their children about the importance of resource conservation and obtain assistance from CSN to get the job training they need to enter into this emerging field. It will also include an information exchange for business owners and residents alike to share ideas on conservation practices, tools and financial incentives, creating true “conservation communities.”

For the past year, I have served on a working group led by Nevada Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, along with representatives of NV Energy, Bombard Electric, Blackbox Consulting Group, Nevada Partners, the Nevada AFL-CIO, and Energy Works Consulting.

The group is examining other national models to create a center that can leverage each entity’s skills sets to help the community become more sustainable and create a skilled workforce ready to diversify Nevada’s economy.

The idea of an SNSC has been around for some time, but it is our sincere hope that we will acquire the necessary grant funding to make the transition to a permanent site on 87 acres adjacent to the North Las Vegas Airport by 2012.

Meanwhile we are reviewing a temporary lease with the City of Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Business Center site currently being operated by the Urban Chamber of Commerce to begin providing resources for residents and local businesses on sustainable energy job training in areas such as weatherization and photovoltaic technology and provide a location to begin promoting the SNSC to the community.

This will provide an excellent outreach opportunity for CSN and numerous job and training options to the community in an up-and-coming field.

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