Credit woes slow job development in region
July 12, 2010
The credit freeze continues to ice up efforts to develop new jobs in the Reno area.
The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada said last week it helped 10 companies expand or move to western Nevada during its fiscal year that ended June 30.
Those companies added 513 jobs, and EDAWN estimated the first-year economic impact at more than $77 million.
“We did OK in the context of the times, but it was a frustrating year in many, many ways,” said Chuck Alvey, president of the economic development agency.
The 513 new jobs included 164 from companies that located new operations in the region. The remainder came from expansion of existing employers.
Alvey said lack of financing hampers many of the companies that are looking either to move to northern Nevada or expand existing operations here. Some, he said, are unable to find a buyer for an existing facility somewhere else. Others can’t get the financing they need for new facilities in northern Nevada.
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Kevin Frausto, an EDAWN staffer who works with companies who come knocking on doors in northern Nevada, said the agency currently is working with about 40 good prospects. Nearly 60 percent of them are manufacturers, he said, and another 20 percent are in the logistics sector.
California companies that want out of the Golden State account for about a third of the prospects.
Tom Matter, who recruits companies worldwide for EDAWN, said the agency’s staff is working hard to find financial tools that will help smooth companies’ moves to northern Nevada.
Alvey said that effort also includes more hands-on involvement by EDAWN volunteers, who sign confidentiality agreements about prospective new companies and then provide their expertise on recruitment strategies.
The 11 companies and 513 jobs recorded by EDAWN during its last fiscal year compare with 17 companies and 743 jobs a year earlier. The year-earlier numbers include about 450 call center positions that were created by AT&T and The Hartford Financial Services Group.
New companies in the most recent year include Randa Accessories and Rugby IPD in logistics, manufacturers Energy Tech Labs, Intechra and Synvasive Technology Inc. and software firm Secure Storage Technologies.
Expansions included OHL (which expanded twice) and Aramark in logistics and Sierra Nevada Corp. and SK Food Group in manufacturing.