Study to examine area workforce

The northern Nevada workforce will get a close look in a study to be conducted in the next four months.

Employers and workers alike will be surveyed in the study sponsored by the utility company NV Energy and Nevadaworks, the agency that oversees workforce development in northern Nevada.

Wadley-Donovan GrowthTech LLC of Springfield, N.J., will study the workforce that employers need, the characteristics of the region's labor force, the availability of underemployed workers to take higher-skill jobs and the need for training programs.

The survey will encompass workers and employers within a 45-minute commute of downtown Reno, said Tom Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of Nevadaworks. That takes in Carson City as well as the Fernley area.

He said the consulting company will interview about 30 employers and will ask a larger group of companies to complete written surveys.

Survey teams will question individuals outside grocery stores and other locations around the region on Feb. 19-22.

The information collected from employers and individuals will be confidential, Fitzgerald said.

The completed study, due to be rolled out June 12, probably won't provide much immediate assistance in dealing with the rising unemployment that has plagued the region since the onset of the recession, Fitzgerald said.

Instead, it's intended to provide data that employers find useful when they're considering where to locate new plants and offices.

"They need to know what is available for them in the workforce," Fitzgerald said, noting that a number of companies have continued to scout the region for sites even through the recession.

And Fitzgerald said Nevadaworks will use the information as it decides what job-training programs to fund in coming years.

It's been nearly a decade since the last study of the region's workforce, Fitzgerald said.


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