New tuition-free, non-credit courses offered at Sierra College |

New tuition-free, non-credit courses offered at Sierra College


Construction Bootcamp courses contact: 530-274-5302

Rapid Prototyping and Entreprenuership courses contact: 530-274-5294 or 530-274-5306

Stephanie Ortiz is attracting students to Sierra College who may otherwise think they are not ready — and those who need workforce preparation.

The executive dean of Sierra College’s Nevada County Campus is rolling out a slate of free, non-credit courses for high school graduates above the age of 18.

“I think that it’s something that the community can really benefit from,” said Ortiz.

The courses are offered to both Sierra College students and those not enrolled, but is focused more on the latter group, said Ortiz. In general, the tuition-free classes are geared toward individuals interested in the construction and trades or people yearning to start a small business.

“These are usable job skills for the world of work in western Nevada County,” said Ortiz.

The first group of classes — a “construction boot camp” — lasts nine weeks on Fridays and Saturdays.

Those classes include “Safety for the Building Trades,” “Introduction to the Building Trades and Tools” and “Basic Material Handling and Building.”

The second group of noncredit courses include topics on rapid product designing and accumulating business skills for the 21st century.

Although they vary in duration, the courses generally last from January to April.

Dean of career, continuing and technical education at Sierra College Amy Shulz and Ortiz collected business advice from board members and attendees at Thursday’s Nevada County Economic Resource Council meeting. Ortiz and Shulz hoped to gather a better understanding of what business leaders in the county want from potential job candidates.

“Workforce development in rural communities is very different,” said Shulz, noting that small businesses may need only a few employees instead of an entire class of workers.

Business skills believed to be desirable at Thursday’s meeting included adaptability, analysis, collaboration, communication, digital fluency, an entrepreneurial mindset, empathy and resiliency.

We need people “to be able to work as part of a team,” said Diana Gamzon, executive director of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email or call 530-477-4219.

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