Virtually from the moment he founded Elemental LED almost a decade ago in the Bay Area, Randy Holleschau had a vision of moving the company to northern Nevada.
Holleschau, who also serves as CEO of Element LED and a former resident of Incline Village, was enamored with the region’s business-friendly environment and quality of life.
Elemental LED is an engineering and technology-based manufacturer of LED lighting solutions. The company is moving its headquarters from Emeryville, Calif. along with its manufacturing operations from China. It also will also relocate its research and development department to Reno.
“From the beginning, I wanted to get the company into the Reno market,” Holleschau said in a telephone interview with NNBW. “But every time we thought about moving here, our plans would change.”
Since its inception, the company has experienced explosive growth; Holleschau felt the rapid pace made it impossible logistically to move the company.
At least until now.
He indicated that the company’s latest round of expansion plans, that initiated about eight months ago, wasn’t possible in the Golden State and decided it was finally time to uproot the company. Simply there was no space to grow in California and the business wasn’t as favorable as other regions.
Element LED will occupy approximately 75,000 square feet of build-to-suit facilities based in South Meadows.
Along with Reno, Elemental LED explored other relocation sites including New York City and Arizona.
Holleschau started Elemental LED out of his own home in 2008, is now the largest manufacturer of low-voltage linear lighting solutions and technology advancements in the United States. It manufactures an estimated 1,500 products that are displayed in more than 2,000 lighting showrooms worldwide.
It also works with business and residential customers to orchestrate innovative and environmentally friendly lighting solutions.
The company’s transition into the Reno market will take about six months and it should be fully operational by the third or fourth quarter of 2017. Some operations will remain in California at least temporarily as it makes the transition to Nevada.
With its arrival to the market, Element LED plans to hire up to 100 employees over the next two years including positions in engineering, assembly, marketing, IT, sales and customer service.
Jeff Johnson, chief financial officer and executive vice president at Elemental LED, said the company is already recruiting to fill new positions.
“We been in the Reno marketplace for some time now going through the recruitment process and found it very favorable,” Johnson said.
Johnson added that the company is using local recruiting firms such as the local branch of Aerotek to fill IT positions. It is also using Internet job search sites including Indeed and Glassdoor to fill openings in other departments.
Average hourly wages for Elemental LED employees is $42.84. Holleschau and Johnson said the company offers employee benefits including health insurance coverage, stock options and an employee 401(k) program.
To learn more about current openings, go to https://elementalled.bamboohr.com/jobs/.
Elemental also plans to spend $1,865,000 in capital expenditures in the northern Nevada market. Holleschau said it is imperative the company develops relationships with the University of Nevada, Reno and the area community colleges.
“It is our intention to have access to the best and brightest talent northern Nevada has to offer and treat them well while working here at Elemental LED,” Holleschau said. “We want to utilize UNR, TMCC and WNC as a resource for us.”
He indicated Elemental LED has a strong, senior management team and wants an integrated staff of fresh talent with experienced staff.
“I think here we have to have a mixture of both,” Holleschau said.
Elemental LED worked with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) to bring the company to Nevada.
Element LED was formally introduced to the region at a press conference on May 22 at the GrandSierra Resort. Holleschau spoke at the event and praised the Reno-Tahoe community for welcoming the company to the region.
“(The staff at Element LED) like to say ‘we want to make it easy for our customers to do business with us, and from my experience the people here have that same kind of commitment,” Holleschau said at the event. “I can say I’ve never worked with more knowledgeable and friendlier group of people.”
Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of EDAWN, added the Element LED’s move will further strengthen the region as a manufacturing hub in the western United States.
“We are excited that Elemental LED has selected Reno for their new operations, headquarters and is the place to be for their dramatic, projected growth,” Kazmierski said a press release. “The company’s long term plans to move some of their manufacturing from China to Reno will further help to strengthen our domestic productivity and the economy for generations. The fact that they also chose to move their headquarters here is significant and shows that they intend to be here for the long term.”