Meeting The Moment In Henderson, NV

Jared Smith, CEcD, Economic Development and Tourism Director, City of Henderson, tells us why this forward-thinking southern Nevada city is primed for the next wave of business.

By BF Editors
From the January/February 2024 Issue


Business Facilities: Tell us about the City of Henderson, NV for business.

Jared Smith: Henderson offers a compelling location with ease of access to the western U.S., including 27 million people within a five-hour drive and Interstate 15, providing a direct connection to the Southern California market and the ports of Los Angeles. Henderson is also perfectly positioned to reach other markets within a one-day drive, including Phoenix, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Portland, Denver, and Seattle. Located just five miles from Henderson, Harry Reid International Airport [in Las Vegas] had over 25 million passenger boardings in 2022, ranking it among the Top 10 busiest domestic airports.

Jared Smith, City of Henderson, Nevada
Jared Smith, CEcD, Economic Development and Tourism Director, City of Henderson, NV

Nevada offers a business-friendly climate with no state income tax, ranks as the fifth lowest cost state for doing business and offers tax abatement incentives that our staff can help businesses navigate.

In Henderson and the Las Vegas Valley, the world comes to us—our region is a destination, and no other place in the U.S. offers the year-round ability to easily convene business leaders from across the globe.

Henderson is the second-most populous city in Nevada, with over 330,000 residents—30% of which are between the age of 20 to 44. We have heavily invested in workforce development, made evident last year by the opening of the College of Southern Nevada’s Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and the evolution of Henderson’s Nevada State College into Nevada State University.

Nevada offers a business-friendly climate with no state income tax, ranks as the fifth lowest cost state for doing business and offers tax abatement incentives that our staff can help businesses navigate.

City of Henderson
City of Henderson Mayor Michelle Romero (center), College of Southern Nevada President Federico Zaragoza (far right), council members, and local dignitaries opened the Debra March Center of Excellence in August 2023. (Photo: City of Henderson)
BF: What are targeted or growth industries in the city?

Smith: We recently completed a data-driven Target Industry Study that identified five specific industries that can prosper in Henderson. This study provides a roadmap for proactive outreach and allows us to be hyper-focused on attracting high quality jobs that align with our city’s mission and vision.

The industries identified in the study are: Back-Office Management and Support Services; Electrical Equipment and Components Manufacturing; Financial, and Credit Services; Logistics Management and Technologies; and Media and Sports Production. These industries are supported by existing employers, a skilled workforce, market proximity, and available real estate assets.

To ensure these target industries don’t become static, our team is utilizing AI to launch one of the very first industry monitoring dashboards later this year. This is one example of how Henderson embraces and adopts technology to ensure we lead the economic development profession and empower our team to be equipped in recruiting and serving our target companies.

Alliance North America (ANA) recently relocated its headquarters to Henderson and will exclusively assemble its hybrid energy system portable generators here. Our proximity to the Southern California market and the ports of Los Angeles makes Henderson a prime location for these types of manufacturers. ANA is also located a mile away from the Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing, providing a valuable asset for their current and future workforce needs.

BF: What are long-standing advantages for business in Henderson?

Smith: In Henderson, you’ll find a community where local government and the private sector are strategically integrated.

Our businesses and citizens have a loud voice in economic development, and you’ll find examples of that throughout the city, including in the revitalization of the city’s historic downtown—the Water Street District. The America First Center on Water Street opened in 2020 as a partnership between the City of Henderson and the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. The arena serves as a practice facility for the franchise in addition to hosting youth and adult hockey leagues and figure skating. Our elected officials and city leadership have shown the willingness to make audacious decisions and investments in economic development to improve the quality of life for residents and improve our overall job base.

The historic Water Street District in Henderson is undergoing a revitalization that includes a practice facility for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

Henderson offers a high quality of life, with some of the best parks, schools, and master-planned communities in the state. These quality of life factors allow us to attract and retain top talent from across the state and nationwide, ensuring our businesses can be successful with their most important assets—their people. Between 2013 and 2022 our workforce increased 24%, from 136,900 to 169,300, and 33.4% of our population (age 25 or older) holds a bachelor’s degree or higher—the highest percentage across Southern Nevada.

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BF: What are recent developments that site selection teams should know about when it comes to Henderson’s business climate?

Smith: In 2022, the City of Henderson acquired a 35-acre site that was home to the former Fiesta Hotel-Casino. Over the last year, the city has solicited feedback from residents on what type of development and amenities they’d like to see at this site, and we’ve recently started the process of finding the right partner to develop the site. This mixed-use development will be anchored by a region-leading indoor sports facility that is both an amenity for our residents and a premier regional sports-tourism asset.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently touted Las Vegas as “Sports Town USA,” [speaking at a Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee brunch]. Henderson is proud to embrace this mantra as the headquarters and training facility home for both the Las Vegas Raiders and Las Vegas Aces. In addition to being home to these professional sport franchises, the Fiesta project will allow Henderson to expand that reach by hosting premier collegiate and high school tournaments and sporting events.

BF: What else would you share about what’s happening in Henderson?

Smith: As our city experiences continued growth and development in West Henderson, we’ve also started planning for our long-term future by annexing Federal land and increasing our footprint in the Southeast. The El Dorado Valley will have 850 acres of developable land along Interstate 11, a major throughway from Southern Nevada into Phoenix Arizona.

Check out all the latest news related to Nevada economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.


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