Efforts to encourage new business creation, relocation and expansion in Nevada took a major step forward this week when a key legislative committee approved nearly $3.5 million to fund a new economic development office, the Record-Courier reports. The funding will enable Steve Hill, executive director of the Governor’s Office on Economic Development, to develop a state economic development plan and hire the staff needed to move forward on private sector job creation efforts.
The state plan, relying in part on research performed by the Brookings Institution and SRI International, is expected to be released in early February. The report identified seven economic sectors, some already in existence such as gaming and tourism, and some emerging, such as clean energy, where Nevada should focus its efforts.
Positions approved include three industry specialists at a maximum salary of $110,000 each, an industry analyst with a maximum salary of $90,000, a communications manager with a maximum salary of $80,000, and a technology commercialization director with a maximum salary of $110,000. There are also two support positions with maximum salaries of $40,000.
The new approach, supported by Gov. Brian Sandoval and a bipartisan group of state lawmakers. The bill also established a $10 million Catalyst Fund to help firms relocated or expand in Nevada. The money will be used to provide grants to local governments for economic development projects.