Officials from the city of Las Vegas and the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) will celebrate the opening of a new college site at City Hall, during a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, on the third floor of City Hall, located at 495 S. Main Street. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman, Ward 3 Councilman Bob Coffin, CSN President Dr. Michael Richards, and Dan Gouker, executive director of the Division of Workforce & Economic Development, will be on hand during the ceremony.
The partnership between the city of Las Vegas and CSN to establish a college presence at Las Vegas City Hall is a model believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. The partnership is designed to create training and educational opportunities for residents, particularly in the downtown area, and to help create a trained workforce that can increase the city’s opportunities for economic development and diversification.
CSN, which now occupies the third floor of City Hall with 20 full-time employees in the college’s Division of Workforce & Economic Development, is developing workforce training and academic courses for city employees and residents, targeting the downtown community due to its proximity to City Hall. Literacy, ESL and GED classes are already taking place in the evenings and on the weekends. The college plans to also offer skills certification examinations, customized training for city employees and local businesses, workforce training courses – such as computer training – and much more. The college is also hoping to provide select academic credit courses in the next year.
“We are proud to welcome some of the instructional staff and curricular programs of the College of Southern Nevada to a new home at City Hall,” Mayor Goodman said. “This innovative partnership has students walking the halls of our building, taking classes, and creating an exceptional experience.”
CSN will also offer consulting services to local businesses and those interested in coming to Las Vegas to develop specific programs and certificate programs to meet their needs for a particular workforce, such as those in the healthcare industry.
This is one of several efforts that the mayor and other council members have been working on to enhance education in our community, including partnerships with UNLV and the Clark County School District. In addition, this is the second partnership between the city and CSN that is a first of its kind in the nation. The city of Las Vegas Fire Department/CSN Educational Center at the Charleston campus is the first municipal fire house to be located on a college campus in a college learning facility. Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian was a driving force behind that partnership, which also involves Bonanza High School students.
“Diversifying our economy is critical to the health of our city, and by partnering with CSN we are able to offer classes and training that are designed to bring new industries to our city,” said Councilman Coffin, who represents this area of Ward 3. “The CSN staff and students will be a welcome addition to our City Hall and downtown.”
Dan Gouker, CSN’s Division of Workforce & Economic Development executive director, added, “CSN is eager to make a contribution to the dynamic downtown community. This kind of public-public partnership is rare elsewhere and a great example of the ongoing regional collaborations that are strengthening our metropolitan area’s economic health and wellbeing.”