Northern Nevada mirrors national trends
In the sometimes baffling economic and workforce needs of northern Nevada, it may be difficult to know if the business trends we see online, in professional publications and on television truly apply to us. Through meetings with different local businesses over the last few months, I’ve found that while northern Nevada has its own dynamic and unique business trends, there are times when ours mirror what’s going on nationally.
According to Deloitte’s Globalization Survey 2013, more than half of businesses develop their employment outreach and business strategies specific to the city in which they are located. Northern Nevada is no different. With the lure of our friendly business and economic environment, we are witnessing a shift from potential relocating businesses — from viewing Reno as a consumer hub — to focusing on our local talent pool and whether our area can serve as a cultural center for their businesses. Events such as Artown, the many food events, marathons and the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival prove that northern Nevada has the cultural sustenance businesses seek.
A cultural environment reinforces the importance of a well-educated and skilled workforce for the in-demand occupations that are trending in Nevada. The Governor’s Workforce Investment Board has guided educational institutions in planning for the future by creating nine industry sectors to concentrate on:
State agencies are now funding training for the unemployed and underemployed in those areas. By following these guidelines, schools and colleges statewide can create appropriate training for the local workforce and strengthen the reputation of our region as one with the vibrant talent and cultural hub needed to continue to grow our economy.
Another relevant and encouraging trend is the rapid growth of the Maker Culture. Do It Yourselfers (DIY) are moving from fixing something minor in their homes to designing products, which is evolving into viable businesses.
The MidTown District of Reno is a true example of the Maker Culture. As their Web site states, “We are sharing with you our very best effort at being original, inventive, and courageous entrepreneurs.” These business owners are true makers of our city, creating new energy and revitalizing buildings into a truly vibrant and exciting place to eat, shop and explore. With the success of the MidTown District, another Maker Culture is popping up along West First Street called StartUp Row. This is another example of Reno’s fast growing entrepreneurial scene and spirit. DIYers can be more responsive than large companies and have the ability to fully customize products for individual buyers.
And 3D printing will further fuel this customization wave. With the decreased cost of 3D printers, globaltrends.com predicts our future engineers will be the “kids that get 3D printers for Christmas.” 3D printing — developed in the late 1980s — has, in the last four to five years, become an easier and cost-effective way to do business. While 3D printing had long been a tool for only a few elite scientists and business leaders, this has changed, especially in Reno. UNR’s DeLaMare Library makes its 3D printer available to the community, and TMCC Workforce Development will offer a class in modeling and using 3D printers this fall.
The concept of shared services has become a buzzword in the business world and a reality in the Truckee Meadows. A big trend in shared services is office space. According to Forbes in a February publication, many entrepreneurs believe home is an isolating place to work and coffee shops are too distracting. A study by Intuit found that by 2020, “40 percent of the workforce will be freelancing in some capacity.” Studies show that people who work in co-working spaces feel 71 percent more creative and 90 percent more confident in their daily work. Co-working provides an instant community and collaboration and allows people to build relationships and meaningful business contacts in a neutral environment. The idea of co-working spaces has become very popular in the last few years. Locally, Reno Collective on Arlington Avenue has created a co-working facility which allows you to “work how you want, when you want,” according to their website.
While the concept of interns and internships may boggle the minds of some managers, the value of hiring interns is clear. Businesses can “try out” potential employees, and students gain relevant work experience. According to internship.com, more employers said they would hire more interns in 2014 than they did in 2013. In Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success, author Dan Schawbel writes that businesses use internships to see if these students are a good cultural fit for their organization. In Reno, the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association is working to establish a Web site that navigates the world of internships. This Web site will eventually provide a roadmap for employers and intern seekers for the entire state of Nevada.
Nicole McDowell, career certificate and professional development program manager with Truckee Meadows Community College Workforce Development and Continuing Education can be contacted at at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-824-3819.
From a national standpoint, research shows the embrace of digital commerce is a whole decade ahead of schedule thanks to the pandemic. We spoke with the Retail Association of Nevada, Downtown Reno Partnership and the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce to give local context to the growth of online retail.