6 Companies That Support Education in Nevada

Featured image showing young students working on robots in a clean, modern classroom.

6 Companies That Support Education in Nevada

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Nelson Mandela said it best: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” These meaningful words still hold true. Consider this. If all adults on the planet completed secondary education, it would bring 420 million people out of poverty. In other words, broader education could cut poverty in half!    

Essentially, education is an investment in the community. And Northern Nevada is lucky to host many companies that put education first. They include internationally recognized brands like Tesla, and regionally celebrated ones like Dolan Auto Group.

No matter their geographic sphere of influence, these brands understand the importance of investing in education to maintain economic competitiveness and prosperity over the long haul. Let’s look at five companies that support education in Nevada.

Photo Source Sparking innovative education and outreach: K-12 Robotics Center | University of Nevada, Reno | University of Nevada, Reno

Tesla’s Contributions to K-12 and Higher Education

In 2018, Tesla began investing roughly $7,500,000 annually in the Nevada Department of Education’s “Education Gift Fund.” As of April 2022, the total investment stood at $22,500,000, with a final target of $37,500,000.

How is this funding used? Highlights include an after-school robotics program that serves more than 4,100 students. Moreover, the company facilitates the education of thousands of students in robotics in-class learning through vocational training and electives.

Facilitating the widespread offering of these robotics programs are the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Nevada Robotics. In 2018, DRI received a grant from Tesla to fund and support Nevada Robotics, representing the initial investment in the program. Besides robotics programs, Tesla has helped schools through student-led sustainability initiatives that have saved more than $132,000 in energy costs. These efforts complement Tesla’s mission of accelerating the planet’s transition to renewable energy sources.

Besides supporting K-12 education, Tesla has also contributed significantly to higher education in the region. The company is committed to supporting the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC). This program provides students with much-needed technical skills for Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory employment. More than 120 students have completed these Advanced Manufacturing courses so far.

TMCC offers three apprenticeship programs in collaboration with Tesla. These include the Manufacturing Development Program (MDP), Tool & Die, and START. MDP prepares high school seniors to embark on a successful manufacturing career with the company.

The Tool & Die Apprenticeship gives enrollees an advanced skillset in creating and fabricating high-volume metal stamping dies. Finally, the START program provides continued education for Tesla’s existing quality technicians. Participants in the program receive the foundational and technical knowledge for their current jobs while preparing them for advancement.

Photo Source Dermody Properties Foundation Awards Grant to For Kids Foundation

Dermody Properties’ Commitment to Scholarships

What’s another company committed to Northern Nevada education? Dermody Properties. In 1988, the company founded the Dermody Properties Foundation. This foundation supports the arts, education, and families in need.

The Dermody Properties Foundation has donated over $3.67 million to nonprofits nationwide in recent years. The company has a history of supporting continuing education in Northern Nevada through scholarships. These include the Northern Nevada Women’s Fund’s Amy Biehl Scholarship, the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation scholarship, and the Truckee Meadows Community College Foundation scholarship.

Executive Chairman Michael C. Dermody also supports UNR through his personal resources. Scholarships he funds include the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine’s Dr. M. Ronald Avery Medical Student Scholarship.

What have Dermody-related scholarships meant for Northern Nevada students? A Truckee Meadows Community College Foundation scholarship recipient explains, “All my life, I wanted to earn a degree and start my career. Yet the one thing that consistently held me back was money. Thank you … for allowing me to follow my dreams and work towards bettering my life and the lives of those around me.”

In addition to providing support to education providers, the Dermody Foundation has also supported efforts to provide free parent education and resources for parents of school-aged children. This is done through the Children’s Cabinet, which Dermody cofounded.

Photo Source College of Business welcomes Elemental LED as the newest Corporate Partner | University of Nevada, Reno

Elemental LED’s Collaboration with the University of Nevada, Reno

Elemental LED is a Reno-based enterprise that designs, manufactures, and sells environmentally friendly lighting solutions. As North America’s largest provider of linear low-voltage lighting, the company supports lighting innovation worldwide. To facilitate this, Elemental LED holds patents in various fields, including LED light engines, optics, power and related components, and electrical circuitry.

How is the company making a big impact on education in the Reno-Tahoe region? In 2021, it collaborated with the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Business as a new corporate partner. Such corporate partnerships remain essential to the College of Business’s goal of providing students with a top-notch education and plenty of real-world experience.

Elemental LED’s president and CEO, Randy Holleschau, notes, “We have tremendous growth projected for our company, and we will need to hire innovative, dependable, and enthusiastic people that are actively willing to problem solve. We are confident that the University of Nevada, Reno, has the talent we are looking for in the future.”

By supporting higher education, Elemental LED has established a talent pipeline as the company continues to expand. Moreover, corporate partners offer essential feedback to the College of Business about the preparedness of the students they’re educating. They also foster important networking opportunities, paving the way for a smooth transition between academia and the workplace.

Photo Source Renown Health and Orvis School of Nursing Announce Academic Partnership Program & Academic Pipeline for Nursing Students | Renown Health

Renown Health and the Next Generation of Healthcare Workers

Renown Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to meeting the medical needs of Northern Nevada. It relies on fundraising efforts through the Renown Health Foundation to provide the community with top-quality care services.

Offering the community’s best care involves training new generations of healthcare providers and workers. As a result, Renown Health and the University of Nevada, Reno’s Orvis School of Nursing have fostered a longstanding partnership. This partnership gifts up to 24 nursing students per year with full-ride scholarships.

The result? The creation of a sustainable nursing workforce in Northern Nevada. Moreover, the Gerald “Jerry” Smith Academic Practice Partnership offers recipients the chance to complete an apprenticeship at Renown.

“These funds … not only impact the lives of the awarded nursing students but positively influence the overall health of our community by ensuring that excellent healthcare professionals stay right here in Northern Nevada,” explains Greg Walaitis, Renown Health Foundation’s chief development officer. It’s a win-win for UNR and the community.

Photo Source Submissions now open for Dolan Class Project

Dolan Auto Group’s Dedication to Quality Education

The family-owned Dolan Auto Group takes bettering the community to the next level through its annual Class Project. This results in thousands of dollars donated to area schools. In 2023, the auto group will contribute $100,000 to the cause. One lucky school will receive $25,000, and 15 classrooms will get $5,000 each.

To win this award, schools or classrooms must show how they’ll use the money to improve the student learning experience. Schools must also develop an idea for a community-wide project spearheaded by their students.

The Dolan Class Project began in 2011 and has evolved from a way to give back to the community into a vast community partnership. During the 2022 announcement of winners, Ryan Dolan, CEO of Dolan Auto Group, said, “Watching the incredible educators and students in our region come together to showcase their creativity and dream up ways to better our community is one of the highlights of our year.” 

Photo Source ITS Logistics and the University of Nevada, Reno

ITS Logistics and the University of Nevada, Reno

Another company supporting education in Northern Nevada is ITS Logistics. It has forged strong ties with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), resulting in the new Logistics Program.

Funded in full by ITS, the Logistics Program will be offered by the College of Business and represents one of four new industry-focused programs that will continue to help UNR students excel in various aspects of enterprise. It will also provide a much-needed pipeline of professional supply chain talent to the region.  

Greg Mosier, dean of the College of Business, lauds ITS Logistics’ continued commitment to higher education. He explains, “ITS Logistics has been an incredible partner with the College of Business and has hired many of our outstanding students and alumni as they have built their business.”

Speaking more specifically of the Logistics Program, he adds, “This program will take our partnership to an even higher level as we provide a degree with industry-specific knowledge to our students seeking a career in logistics.” Educational partnerships with industry leaders will continue to pave the way for robust learning experiences that ensure an exceptional pool of talent in Northern Nevada. 

Companies That Support Education in Nevada

You don’t have to look far to find companies that support education in Nevada. They include tech brands like Tesla and Elemental LED. And you’ll also find plenty of generosity in other industries represented by names like Dermody Properties, Renown Health, Dolan Auto Group, and ITS Logistics.

Through their generous dedication of time and funds, they ensure a new generation of Nevadans have access to the education and skillsets needed to thrive. Their efforts will also guarantee a talented workforce from which to draw in the future.

Are you considering a move to Northern Nevada? Or looking for educational opportunities in a new or existing field? We’ve got you covered. Browse hiring companies now to explore exciting regional options for your future.

Work Live Play Reno Tahoe is a community-wide initiative powered by EDAWN to recruit skilled workers with all levels of expertise to join the Northern Nevada workforce. Get started by submitting your resume, browse hiring companies, and connect directly with Lindsey, our Community Liaison who will help lead your quest for employment. Working Remotely? Check out our extensive list of Remote Worker ResourcesStudents can also participate! Visit our new Student Portal to start making connections for your future.

Engrid Barnett is an award-winning travel writer and digital content marketer based in Western Nevada. Recognized by the Nevada Press Association in 2019, her work has been featured in Nevada Magazine, Northern Nevada Business Weekly, Tahoe South, Rova, American Trails, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, and more.

Follow along with us each month for Engrid’s special “Work-Life” review – featured exclusively on WorkLivePlayRenoTahoe.com

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