Want a better business in Nevada? Get involved

For our economy to grow and diversify, for our children to stay here and get good paying jobs and for our state to be attractive to businesses seeking to expand, we need an educated workforce.

You may wonder what you can about that. Quite a bit, in fact. If you own or manage a business or will be in a position to hire employees, it is worth your time to get involved. An education summit — the Business + Education (BE) Engaged Summit 2016: Accelerating a New Nevada — is planned for March 7 at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, and business leaders are encouraged to attend.

As Nevada works toward a more diverse economy, the skill sets required to fill jobs will change.

Business leaders know their needs are centered on a workforce that can write and understand computer code, and is trained and certified in hardware and software applications such as Cisco and Microsoft. With this in mind, a few years ago, a local business leader agreed to work with secondary and higher education centers to develop appropriate curriculum.

This is how a public-private partnership between education and business should work. Unfortunately, not enough business leaders are engaged in this process — some because they don’t know where to start, others because they don’t see it as their responsibility.

Advocacy can come in the form of mentoring, in-kind support, lending expertise or financial sponsorship, to name a few. The key is to match your company or industry needs, or your passion, to a related program or partnership.

Companies of all sizes and expertise, as well as individuals, can make a difference. For a program, partnership or collaboration to be successful, it takes only willing participants with a goal and a passion for achieving success.

To determine where to get involved, ask yourself: What do I believe in, what do I feel strongly about, what will make my business, industry or community better? Any of these questions should lead you to an area of focus.

There are literally dozens of ongoing programs and partnership opportunities at all grade and education levels.

If you or your company want to make a difference in developing a workforce ready for future job needs in Nevada, attend the education summit. Then, get involved.

John Guedry is CEO of Bank of Nevada and board chairman of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Bank of Nevada, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance will host the Business + Education (BE) Engaged Summit 2016: Accelerating a New Nevada on March 7 at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts to encourage greater involvement in education by the Southern Nevada business community. Tickets are available at