Lyon County School District

Computing Centers for Rural Nevada

Unemployment in Lyon County, Nevada is well above the national average and many residents rely on public computer centers for access to job information and education, greatly increasing the demand for these critical public facilities. The Lyon County School District plans to help improve economic opportunities for residents of Lyon and neighboring Mineral County through its Computer Centers for Rural Nevada project. In addition to creating public computer centers, the project proposes to provide instructors and volunteer trainers for basic computer literacy, GED preparation, and ESL training, while local schools plan to offer college credit and advanced placement classes to high school students and community members. Several local small businesses have also committed to use the centers to train local residents in specialized skills pertinent to their industries. The Walker River Paiute Tribe and Yerington Paiute Tribe plan to utilize the public computer centers to view or participate in national tribal events.

Total Award: 
BTOP In Action
A view of the Fernley City Hall computer center in Fernley, Nev.

In the summer of 2011, the Lyon County School District opened four public computer centers to serve communities in western Nevada. These centers are part of an initiative to improve computer skills and economic opportunities among residents of Lyon and neighboring Mineral County. At each of these centers, high school students can conduct research to prepare for college, and community members can utilize the new computer resources to search for jobs.

In addition to computer and Internet access, the centers provide collaborative technology capabilities, including SMART Boards, document cameras, and videoconferencing equipment. This equipment offers the school district an opportunity to expand course offerings in small, remote high schools. For example, students at Smith Valley High School are utilizing their local computer center to take Spanish courses taught virtually by a teacher from another high school.

Lyon County is also hosting a wide variety of courses at these computer centers. For instance, the computer center in Fernley is offering a mix of workforce development, digital literacy, and higher educational classes, including resume assistance, healthy communities, and tax preparation. The tax preparation course, for example, provides low-income families with access to tax professionals who can help them prepare and e-file their tax returns. Through these classes, Lyon County community members are developing skills that they will be able to use to further their career goals.

Last Updated: December 23, 2011

Reports and Documents
Award Documents