The topics of education and a skilled workforce are two driving forces behind Portola City Manager Robert Meacher's efforts to connect with Reno. With its flurry of economic development, Reno will have huge impacts on its neighboring community of Portola. Meacher speculates that curriculum and workforce requirements will be closely tied to the success of this economic wave.
The process of outreach began when a core group met with Heidi Gansert, Executive Director of External Relations, and Steve Maples, Ph.D., Director of Admissions at the University of Nevada, Reno on January 15, 2015. The core group consisted of Meacher; Patty Clawson, Marketing Manager of Big Fish Creations/ Site Council Member of Portola JR/SR High School; Chip Lindloff, Senior Executive Director of Applied Recruiting Solutions; Aurora Westwood, Program Coordinator of the Plumas County Office of Education and Carlie McCarthy, Feather River College Academic Advisor and Recruiter. The meeting connected Plumas County education providers with university leaders, and provided an opportunity to exchange ideas and consider future employment demands for both regions.
“With the changing business landscape of this super region, education will be an important component in the economic development of Portola,” said Meacher. He believes that from preschool to high school, just fulfilling basic needs is not enough to help Plumas County kids compete. He added, “With the opportunities that will be made available by the economic ‘Gold Rush’ of Reno, it makes sense to work together.”
The University of Nevada, Reno may play a vital role as a “pipeline” to reach Plumas County students at all levels with opportunities like KIDS U, which is aimed at elementary students, or Nevada Bound, a program introducing college life to high school and transfer students. “The willingness of Heidi Gansert and Steve Maples to deploy resources to help jump-start Plumas County is very encouraging,” said Meacher.
There is no question that the value of a good education is essential to growth and future development. Patty Clawson explained, “As a 1995 UNR graduate and parent of a UNR freshman, I know firsthand the quality of education offered at the university, and with its proximity to our community, it proves to be a valuable resource right in our backyard.”
This is all about communities helping communities, creating not only educational opportunities but giving a workforce the tools to succeed. “The synergy between the City of Portola, Plumas Unified School District, Feather River College, and the University of Nevada, Reno should produce a skilled workforce able to benefit both regions throughout this economic boom,” said Chip Lindloff.
The outreach to the University of Nevada, Reno is just one of many efforts being made by the City of Portola in the quest for community revitalization and the betterment of Plumas County as a whole.
Media Contact: Patty Clawson
Big Fish Creations