New group challenges Carson economic agency | nnbw.com

New group challenges Carson economic agency

Pat Patera

A privately funded development group aims to take on the task of business recruitment in Carson City plus Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties.

Nevada Business Connections is the brainchild of Kris Holt, its executive director, who formerly worked with Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate in Reno. Even earlier, he held the reins at the Northern Nevada Development Authority for 14 years.

“I was approached by 20 businesses about bringing industry and jobs to northern Nevada again,” says Holt. “Our focus is purely business development. New investments and new jobs are the bottom line,”

Adds Brad Bonkowski, a broker partner at Coldwell Banker Commercial Premier Brokers in Carson City and a director of the new organization, “It has been too quiet for the past few years and we need to change that.”

Holt already has 13 serious prospects reviewing the capital region along with several companies that aren’t as serious yet, says Dick Silvera, broker-owner of Silvera Commercial Real Estate in Gardnerville.

In the last three to four years, recruitment has not been addressed, says Silvera, adding that he hopes the new recruitment group brings more business to the Capitol region.

Northern Nevada Development Authority welcomes the new agency.

“The more there is, the better for everyone,” says Ron Weisinger, executive director of NNDA. “There’s not just one way of doing things. We all need to work together. I look forward to having more ideas.”

But will the new group make the job of the existing economic development agency easier? “We’ll have to wait and see how productive they are,” Weisinger says.

NNDA serves Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Story counties and provides technical assistance to Churchill, Mineral and Pershing Counties. Founded in 1982, it has 300 members, and fields a staff of four.

Silvera says NNDA hasn’t met the region’s economic development needs.

“The area is stagnant. We need new recruitment,” he says. “The local development agency is not doing anything for us. They’re not doing the job that needs to be done. The economic situation is not good and that’s why we’re doing this.”

Bonkowski, too, says NNDA has been ineffective.

“There has been a lack of positive recruitment,” he adds. “Almost no new companies are brought to our area by the current economic development agencies. We as business people felt it would be prudent to put together a group to recruit businesses.”

He says the new group will focus on industrial jobs, believing that retail and service employment will follow the growth in basic employment.

Holt notes the Carson City region is the manufacturing center of the state, and he’s scheduled three trips in the next six months to recruit California companies.

“He’s not wasting any time,” says Tom Metcalf, owner of Metcalf Builders in Carson City.

“New manufacturing companies are on top of my list because they bring skilled, good paying jobs.

WNCC has good training and classes for these technical jobs. The more people we attract will promote businesses needing remodeling of existing buildings or green field building,” Metcalf continues.

Silvera, meanwhile, says retention of existing companies also is a priority.

“We need to know the reason why companies leave and hopefully try to save them,” he says.

NNDA agrees with the importance of retention.

“If a company is already here, we want them to expand locally,” Weisinger says.

Carson City Supervisor Pete Livermore says, “By all means, if Chris Holt can bring some benefit to us, why not? I would love to see him help us with some of the empty big boxes.”

But challenges loom, says Silvera. “You’ve got to recruit new members who believe the status quo is not working.”

Holt says that during his 14 years with NNDA he assisted with over 200 new business relocations and 96 existing company expansions creating approximately 5,000 new primary jobs.

Nevada Business Connections is located at 3535A Arrowhead Drive in Carson City. The Web site is nevadabusinessconnections.com.

Metcalf plans to be part of the welcoming committee. He started Metcalf Builders 15 years back and now employs 45. “I can explain to new companies the benefits of being here, and the benefits of community college and training.”

“We’re terrifically excited about this whole thing,” says Silvera.

“The more there is, the better for everyone,” says Ron Weisinger, executive director of NNDA. “There’s not just one way of doing things. We all need to work together. I look forward to having more ideas.”

But will the new group make the job of the existing economic development agency easier? “We’ll have to wait and see how productive they are,” Weisinger says.

NNDA serves Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Story counties and provides technical assistance to Churchill, Mineral and Pershing Counties. Founded in 1982, it has 300 members, and fields a staff of four.

Silvera says NNDA hasn’t met the region’s economic development needs.

“The area is stagnant. We need new recruitment,” he says. “The local development agency is not doing anything for us. They’re not doing the job that needs to be done. The economic situation is not good and that’s why we’re doing this.”

Bonkowski, too, says NNDA has been ineffective.

“There has been a lack of positive recruitment,” he adds. “Almost no new companies are brought to our area by the current economic development agencies. We as business people felt it would be prudent to put together a group to recruit businesses.”

He says the new group will focus on industrial jobs, believing that retail and service employment will follow the growth in basic employment.

Holt notes the Carson City region is the manufacturing center of the state, and he’s scheduled three trips in the next six months to recruit California companies.

“He’s not wasting any time,” says Tom Metcalf, owner of Metcalf Builders in Carson City.

“New manufacturing companies are on top of my list because they bring skilled, good paying jobs.

“WNCC has good training and classes for these technical jobs. The more people we attract will promote businesses needing remodeling of existing buildings or green field building,” Metcalf continues.

Silvera, meanwhile, says retention of existing companies also is a priority.

“We need to know the reason why companies leave and hopefully try to save them,” he says.

NNDA agrees with the importance of retention.

“If a company is already here, we want them to expand locally,” Weisinger says.

Carson City Supervisor Pete Livermore says, “By all means, if Chris Holt can bring some benefit to us, why not? I would love to see him help us with some of the empty big boxes.”

But challenges loom, says Silvera. “You’ve got to recruit new members who believe the status quo is not working.”

Holt says that during his 14 years with NNDA he assisted with over 200 new business relocations and 96 existing company expansions creating approximately 5,000 new primary jobs.

Nevada Business Connections is located at 3535A Arrowhead Drive in Carson City. The Web site is nevadabusinessconnections.com.

Metcalf plans to be part of the welcoming committee. He started Metcalf Builders 15 years back and now employs 45. “I can explain to new companies the benefits of being here, and the benefits of community college and training.”

“We’re terrifically excited about this whole thing,” says Silvera.


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