May 13, 2022
The Clark County School District in the Greater Las Vegas area is opening one of the first of its kind: a full-time magnet high school designed for students who are interested in going into the construction industry.
Las Vegas is a booming area for construction right now. The public school system wanted to create a program to get high schoolers interested in construction careers. The premise is that construction occupations don’t require 4-year college degrees, and actually pay very well after only a few years of experience. The initiative is supported by local construction partners Workforce Connections, a Southern Nevada local workforce development board, and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.
The high school is located in downtown Las Vegas and will have 250 students, focusing on small class sizes of no more than 25 students per teacher. According to The Nevada Independent, “Classes in the construction program will cover general construction skills, as well as foundational skills related to electrical, plumbing and HVAC and framing systems, the district said.”
Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance’s 2022 Workforce Blueprint emphasizes the need for skilled and technical workers. The report says that a third of those jobs are considered hard to fill because of “labor shortages and misalignment between workforce development and industry demand, along with access to career pathways and worker retirements.”
The school is currently accepting only juniors (only current sophomores may apply) but is expected to have seniors in the program next year. Plus, they already have plans to expand.
In addition to learning the basics of carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, and other trades, the school will be working closely with the HR departments of local construction companies, Students will have a direct route toward a potential career via these connections. the school is establishing “an on-site One-Stop Career Center” in partnership with Workforce Connections.
Although this program is targeted at younger students in Las Vegas, Clark County School District already has a well-developed program for getting students into vocational and trade jobs. Seven career and technical academies currently serve more than 11,000 students according to the Nevada Department of Education.