Past Pages, July 11, 2011: Employee pay raises returning to pre-recession levels

The cover of the July 11, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

The cover of the July 11, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week in 2021, we will feature snippets of stories that published a decade ago to provide readers a 10-year perspective of business news in the region. This week’s stories first published in the July 11, 2011, edition of the NNBW.

Survey finds pay increases make return

Pay increases for Northern Nevada workers are creeping back toward pre-recession levels, and raises for management and professional workers are leading the way.

A survey conducted by the Nevada Association of Employers finds that raises ran slightly above 3% last year among the approximately 60 employers who participated in the study. That’s more than double the raises of about 1.5% reported in 2009, during the deepest months of the recession.

And it’s a bit more even than the annual raises of about 2.75% that were reported by employers in 2008, as the region’s economy began slipping into the downturn. In 2006, raises ran about 4.6%, the Nevada Association of Employers’ survey found.

— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer

Food processors nibble at locations in Reno, Carson

Food manufacturers and processors who operate on tight margins increasingly look to low-cost Northern Nevada as the site for new operations.

The sector already is a growing part of the manufacturing landscape, and food company executives and business development officials say the region is poised for a boom in food-related companies who bring manufacturing operations here.

Steve Sposari, president and CEO of SK Foods, which opened an 85,000-square-foot facility in Reno in 2007 and expanded to 150,000 square feet in 2010, says he’s been contacted many times by companies seeking his opinion on the benefits of operating in Northern Nevada.

SK Foods, headquartered in Seattle, employs about 275 at its sandwich assembly facility.

“I have a very favorable opinion of the area and the possibility for additional food manufacturing growth,” Sposari says.

— Page 1, by Rob Sabo

Mobile grilled-cheese shop a profitable parking lot hit

Longtime friends Haley Wood and Jessie Watnes planned a restaurant specializing in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. But when they couldn’t secure a loan large enough to fund a restaurant venture, they instead decided to open a restaurant on wheels.

Wood and Watnes began serving sandwiches from the GourMelt Grilled Cheese Truck on May 1, and business has been booming for the two fledgling entrepreneurs. The business owned by Wood, 33, and Watnes, 25, has been profitable in its first two months, and sales have grown steadily through strong social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, as well as word of mouth.

The learning curve has been steep, however, from finding vendors to purchasing and upgrading their catering truck to finding a place to park and serve sandwiches.

— Page 2, by Rob Sabo


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment