Reno Technology Academy at Multnomah University has received unanimous grant approval from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board in the amount of $1.1 million. The funds will be used to launch the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cybersecurity Specialist Certification training programs.
Both programs will be hands-on and take place at the Kietzke Lane campus in January 2019 to start preparing residents in northern Nevada for high-paying, high-tech job opportunities in these two rapidly growing fields, both vital to the economic future of the Silver State.
“These programs are just what Governor Sandoval was referring to when he talked about strategically positioning the New Nevada for opportunities in Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing, and other high-tech opportunities to diversify our economy,” said Grace Chou, director of advanced manufacturing for GOED.
Very little formal training exists on IoT in the United States, with the discipline requiring a broad set of skills in electrical engineering, computer programming, information security, consumer research, manufacturing, design for manufacturability, and data analytics. This program will be one of the first of its kind in the country, putting Nevada ahead of the curve in attracting IoT startups and preparing the workforce for opportunities with an average starting salary of nearly $80,000.
“Both the Cybersecurity and IoT certification will form components of GOED’s Learn and Earn Advanced-career Pathways (LEAP) framework ‘Advanced ICT’,” said Karsten Heise, technology commercialization director for GOED. “WINN support is enabling these two programs to act as accelerated on-ramps. In the spirit of LEAP, Reno Technology Academy will be working with other post-secondary institutions to implement accreditation agreements to facilitate a smooth transition through the pathways.”
The Reno Technology Academy training programs were designed with the goal of providing students with rigorous, focused training fully vetted by professionals in their industry so students can make an immediate impact on the companies they join. Reno Technology Academy enlisted the services of Nevada Industry Excellence, the Silver State’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, to make essential industry connections.
“Nevada Industry Excellence (NVIE) has been invaluable in garnering support for the grant proposals from a large number of companies,” said Steve Andreano, director of technology programs for Reno Technology Academy at Multnomah University. “They have validated the industry’s need for this training and will be heavily involved in matching successful student with industry jobs.”
Director of NVIE, Mark Anderson, states that in northern Nevada alone, there will be 79 IoT job openings over the next two years at Breadware, Groupgets, NevadaNano, Filament, Elemental LED and SimpleSense as well as 27 cybersecurity openings at Blackridge Technology, Renown Health and NV Energy.
“With the growth of IoT, smart manufacturing, the imminent deployment of 5G, digitization of industries, and increasing threats of cyber-attacks, it is critical for organizations to have the infrastructure, solutions, and human resources that protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and computing assets,” said Brian Wilcox, chief information security officer of BlackRidge Technology, a cybersecurity software company located in Reno. “Infrastructure and solutions are available, but the industry is woefully short when it comes to the human resources aspect. BlackRidge applauds the state for approving these grants. We can’t have Industrial IoT and the connected economy it creates without strong cyber defenses.”
With these grants, Reno Technology Academy is working to provide scholarships for the first 40 IoT and 25 Cybersecurity students in the program. People that are interested in learning more about enrolling in these programs, slated to start in January 2019, can email Reno Technology Academy at Multnomah University at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 775-849-4983.