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Help Wanted: Amid Nevada’s jobs crisis, trying to teach workers new skills

As part of this week’s special “Help Wanted” edition of Need to Know, we travel to Nevada, site of the upcoming Republican presidential caucus, to investigate that state’s economy. Nevada is in the midst of a jobs crisis, with its 12.6 percent unemployment rate.

While there are too many workers looking for too few jobs, there’s another problem: finding young people with the right skills to fill jobs that are available.

Our report on Nevada’s effort to train workers for high-tech jobs is by Michael Hagerty of PBS station KNPB in Reno: 

This segment was produced with the support of a grant that Need to Know provided to eight public television stations across the country to highlight national issues that are impacting local communities. Grants were awarded to the following stations: KNPB-TV Channel 5 (Reno, Nev.), Mountain Lake Public Telecommunications Council (Plattsburgh, NY), Nashville Public Television (Nashville, Tenn.), Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (Lincoln, Neb.), Nine Network of Public Media (St. Louis, Mo.), Pioneer Public Television (Appleton, Minn.), WXXI (Rochester, NY) and WBGU-TV (Bowling Green, Ohio).


  • the invisable man

    I’ve known this for years and I’ll probably say it a thousand times more…SKILLS DON’T MEAN SQUAT!!! You can have skills dripping out of your eyes and ears; you can be absolutely sure you can do a particular job that you want, but if you don’t have a background or a proven history in that field, then forget it. Things have gotten so specialized the best training starts AFTER you’re hired, not before. I was in college in the mid 90′s when “the web” was just a buzzword. I took a brand new course in HTML I loved it! SINCE DAY ONE after I graduated all I heard every time was “…not enough experience; …not enough experience” It continues to this day. So I finally ended up doing seasonal work on a back of a lawn mower for the past 8 years. I have no idea when this ends.

  • Pkf38501

    the lady in Nevada who lost her dream house when she lost her job obviously did not make the best  choice financially at the time.  Does the government need to help everyone who makes bad decisions?

  • Get the Skills, Get the Job

    Nevada has the highest unemployment in the nation. There are many there with experience and skills who are without jobs. Without demand (through government or consumer spending) there is little hope. People didn’t buy homes knowing that they would be laid-off in a few years. Nobody knew that house values would decline by more than half, unless they had a crystal ball.

    Banks are the ones who made out. They made money on the original loans. They bundled the loans as grade A, when they were risky, and sold them for a nice (fraudulent) proffit. When the economy tanked the banks took huge subsidies from the fed. Now, they are dragging their feet on helping distressed homeowners. Yet, not one banker has been jailed or charged. “Too big to fail”. These banks need to be broken up.

    The economy is ever so slowly turning around. In many fields, job skills are required prior to entry. Many companies are sponsoring trade/technical training through the community college system. Those who take adventage of such training, have a much better chance of entry into their chosen field. Additional job training may be required. Applicants must have a starting point. The more skills they posess, the less the employer has to provide. Pre-requisites narrow the field of applicants. Do the math. Unskilled workers are destined for minimum wage jobs, the unemployment line, welfare, or (worse) jail.