Thursday the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) hosted its annual state of the economy to give community leaders a summary of economic development in the Reno area in the last year.

Over the last year more than 29 companies have come to the region, supplying more than two thousand jobs. More than 800 of those jobs include hourly wages of at least 30 dollars.

EDAWN President and CEO Mike Kazmierski says a decade ago, their goal was to bring in as many jobs as possible. Now the unemployment has dropped from 14.5 percent to about four percent, their focus is on higher paying jobs.

"Any job is not what we want, we need a good job," Kazmierski says. "We need a high paying job so that people can afford to live here. So we've adjusted to that to bring in more technology and more advanced manufacturing, which tends to have better pay."

"The state of Nevada is number in population growth, number one in employment growth, and number one in personal income growth," Principal Analyst for Applied Analysis Jeremy Aguero says. "And the Reno area is at or above the average in every one of those categories."

Aguero and Kazmierski were the two main speakers at the address on Thursday.

Aguero says this kind of growth is unique in modern history, and growth like this can present new problems to an economy.

"The other side of that there's some struggles that come along with it," Aguero says. "Pressure is put on infrastructure. Obviously we're seeing that here on housing."

Aguero and Kazmierski believe more affordable housing is necessary, and that a continued lack of housing could hinder the growth of the regional economy. While Aguero says housing is a serious problem, he thinks workforce development may be a bigger challenge for Reno.

"When our unemployment was 14 and a half percent it was all about bringing new business in," Aguero says. "Now our unemployment rate is four percent and now businesses, big or small, it doesn't matter what sector they're in, are having a hard time keeping and retaining employees."

Aguero and Kazmierski say programs like robotics need to be supported at schools in the area, because future job markets will require advanced skills, and a lot of those markets haven't been created yet.

"Twnety-seven percent of the jobs that will be here in five years don't exist right now," Kazmierski says. "So the skills of the future involve a lot of STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art, math) qualities."

Aguero says Reno's economy hasn't been this diversified in 30 years, and the increase in exports is one of the factors that increases the diversification.

While companies like Tesla could contribute to the jobs of the future that have yet to be created, Aguero says sustaining economic growth goes much deeper than keeping the big names in town.

"The community is better because they are here," Aguero says while speaking of big name companies like Tesla. "But they are here because it's a great place for the 14,000 businesses that are already here to do business. I think maintaining that is going to be absolutely the foundation of sustainability."