CSN Wins $6.9 million Federal Grant, Will Offer Education, Workforce Training in Historic West Las Vegas

The College of Southern Nevada and the City of Las Vegas will create a new Education and Training Center in Historic West Las Vegas to help train unemployed and under-employed residents who have not had viable pathways to careers with family-sustainable wages.

The Westside Workforce Education & Training Center, a partnership between CSN and the City of Las Vegas, is expected to break ground this year, thanks to a $6.9 million CARES Act grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

The Westside ETC will be a 10,000-square-foot facility located on a two-acre site adjacent to the Historic Westside School on West Washington Avenue in Las Vegas. This site was the elementary education home for thousands of residents of the historic west side of Las Vegas for decades, and is now poised to deliver education opportunities to residents of Ward 5 and contiguous communities. The unemployment rate in this area typically exceeds that of Clark County by 100 percent or more.

“This is incredible news for our community — particularly for those unemployed and under-employed individuals who need pathways and opportunities for high-wage jobs and a solid educational foundation,” said CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza. “Working with our partners in the City of Las Vegas, we will build bridges from community to college to the workplace that have a proven track record in the real world.”

This successful training model has achieved great results in other major metropolitan areas such as San Antonio, Texas, where Dr. Zaragoza was instrumental in building community-based centers in two diverse communities in his previous position with Alamo Colleges. This helped to address the region’s hidden under-employed and unemployed populations.

Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Melody Rose lauded the news.

“Our goal at NSHE is to ensure all Nevadans who want it have access to education and training that prepares them to be competitive in their careers and have access to lifelong learning options for career advancement,” Chancellor Rose said. “This federal grant will go a long way in helping CSN and NSHE provide a pathway to high-wage and high-demand careers for unemployed and underemployed residents of a persistently underserved community in Las Vegas.”

City of Las Vegas Ward 5 Councilman and former NSHE Regent Cedric Crear added, “Workforce training is something that I have long been an advocate for and I am excited by the possibilities created by this grant and what will be created with our partners at the College of Southern Nevada. As we have told the community, this new program will round out our Ward 5 Works Workforce Center with initiatives within the HUNDRED Plan in Action to expand employment opportunities.”

The new center will focus will be on entry level skills training in advanced manufacturing, construction trades, information technology, and healthcare, top in-demand industry sectors in the region. CSN will also provide English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, High School Equivalency, Job Readiness and “soft skills” training. Once trained, up to 300 residents can expect to obtain high-wage jobs every year.


The College of Southern Nevada empowers our students and communities to achieve, succeed, and
prosper. Founded in 1971, CSN is a nationally recognized student success leader specializing in two-year degrees
and a select number of bachelor’s degrees in specialized fields.


The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Board of Regents.