Our Local Economy...What's Next?
What a difference 5 years makes. Back in 2010, Nevada was an economic basket case. Our housing and construction industry collapsed. Unemployment spiked, and tourism was in the doldrums. But there was an important lesson learned that is paying off today. At a business forecast luncheon today (Thursday), EDAWN president and CEO Mike Kazmierski told us, "The recession, as bad as that was, enabled this community to understand we need to work together. Things are going to be different. And if we don't work together it's not going to happen."
Fast forward to today, where business leaders at the luncheon were asking, “How's our economy going?” Predicting that is notoriously tricky...but not this year. Anthony Foti will give it a shot: "The businesses that have been attracted here, the services...it's all really quite incredible."
Anthony is one of the businesses attracted here. His Cleveland, Ohio company, Hose Master, announced at the luncheon that they're opening a manufacturing plant in Sparks later this year. He told us, "We're leasing about a 35,000 square foot facility here, and we hope to get another 30 people working here for us in the next 5 years."
There are expectations that other companies will soon follow him, mainly from California, with more high tech and green energy firms taking the newest trail to here being made by Tesla. Last September, green energy company Sierra Biofuels and drone manufacturer Ashima Devices announced new plants here. Kazmierski says they're still going ahead with their plans. Recruiting companies like that is all part of a bigger plan. As he told us, "One of our strategies is to become a suburb of the Bay Area. We will be an economical suburb, because the cost of doing business here is about 40% less of what it is in the Bay Area."
Kazmierski says we've already passed a tipping point. Nevada is nothing like it was. Diversification has changed, what was once a gaming and tourism economy. As he told us, "I think we're already diversified, far more than people realize when only 8% of our economy...8% of our economy!, is in gaming."