WNC Courses, Tech Express Prepare Oasis Students for Certification First


Oasis Academy College Prep’s Donovan May is pictured with WNC Professor Emily Howarth, left, and WNC Fallon Campus Director Jessica Rowe.

Oasis Academy College Prep’s Leah Bake and Donovan May are the first two SACA-certified high school students in Nevada to receive training for this special honor at Western Nevada College’s unique Tech Express mobile lab.

The Smart Automation Certification Alliance (SACA) Certified Industry 4.0 Associate-Basic Operations certification is nationally recognized and will give students an edge if they choose to work in the manufacturing or robotics industry. It represents a partnership between education and industry for entry-level access to workforce qualifications and is endorsed by international partners such as Fanuc and Rockwell Automation.

Bake and Donovan were tested during the WNC dual entry class last week. They have received online instruction and in-person lab time are receiving hands-on training in the college’s new Tech Express lab once a week since their WNC Automation and Industrial Technology 198 course began in late March. This certification exam was part of the six-week course, which provides them an understanding of Industry 4.0 factory automation equipment and processes and equips them with modern career opportunities in automation.

“Fortunately for me, the mechanical and engineering types of jobs and courses are my thing, so I found it a lot of fun,” Donovan said. “In a regular class like algebra, we learn things that most people will never really use, like parabolas, although everything in AIT is applicable to real life. I want to take some of the other classes AIT such as robotics.I hope in the near future I can find jobs in this field.

Leah Bake holds her SACA certification with Professor Emily Howarth to her left and WNC Fallon Campus Director Jessica Rowe to her right.

Students in the class will have another opportunity to take the certification on Friday, April 29.

The intensive six-week course was taught by WNC Professor Emily Howarth. The grant-funded mobile lab is a new way for WNC to bring outreach to the rural community with high-tech, hands-on college courses at #MakeItInNevada.

“Western Nevada College is proud to lead the way with opportunities to earn certifications related to what’s really happening in high-tech industries through the emergence of Industry 4.0,” Howarth said. “This silver-level certification is for people who want to learn about Industry 4.0 factory automation equipment and processes and we are moving quickly to address what future careers will be built on. Technology moves at the speed of business and we are able to deliver these responsive opportunities to pave the way for modern careers in automation.

Students had an immersive experience as they quickly learned a large volume of new hardware, including smart manufacturing concepts, blueprint reading, and the fundamentals of electrical, pneumatic, precision measurement, and robotic systems.

SACA’s goal is to develop and deliver modular Industry 4.0 certifications for a variety of industries. The non-profit organization is committed to providing more highly skilled workers to businesses and increasing worker success rates.

For more information about the program, contact Howarth at [email protected]


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