Nevada: Shining Up the Silver State

Nevada is famous as a gambling mecca, but businesses will find a skilled workforce that offers a sure bet on success.

By Shana Daley
From the May/June 2016 Issue

Nevada may be known as a prime vacation destination, but the people who live there are prepared to get busy: the Silver State has an able workforce, ready to work.

Nevada’s labor market provides high-value to businesses, including high-tech industries and international trade. NV’s talent pool contains a large percentage of workers with advanced degrees. Employers’ demands for skilled labor in Nevada is answered by many customized training programs designed for the needs of the state’s leading industries, such as the Train Employees Now program, which provides matching grants for qualified employers to acquire skilled labor in less time and at lower costs; and the Silver State Works employee hiring program, which provides incentives of up to $2,000 for each state-qualified employee hired.

Nevada’s workforce also is diverse, both culturally and linguistically. Many Nevada residents speak more than one language, with particularly strong representation of Spanish and Chinese speaking residents.

Nevada State Focus
Barclaycard is expanding its financial services operations in Henderson, creating 150 jobs and adding another 54,000 square feet of space at the Green Valley Corporate Center. (Photo: City of Henderson)

Nevada’s universities and colleges, technical institutions, and community colleges provide a continuous supply of workers with higher education credentials. Rich programs at the University of Nevada campuses in Reno and Las Vegas emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculums—a growing area of emphasis in the state’s K-12 schools as well. Additionally, the entire Nevada System of Higher Education is committed to developing specific employee training programs for individual industries and companies. These alliances have even created training for a “partner” company on the specific job tasks needed for a specialized process. The growing need for STEM disciplines encouraged the Round 2 STEM Workforce Challenge Grants, awarded by the Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT) in February 2016.

With the support of state education and manufacturing leaders, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s Technology Commercialization unit has been developing a pilot program for a fully-integrated manufacturing career pathway. This program, called Learn and Earn Advanced Career Pathway (LEAP), will train for the specific vocation of Advanced Manufacturing Technician.

The Churchill County Library (CCL) offers Information Technology Gateway Training (ITGT), a class series taught by Western Nevada College (WNC) to increase STEM-specialized employees for the expanding tech industry in Northern Nevada. In December, CCL became the first carrier of gigabit broadband Internet in Northern Nevada, provided by Churchill County Communications.

ITGT will fulfill a critical need for homegrown, entry-level IT professionals while providing closer access to similar classes previously located in Carson City. Students can earn industry certifications in Microsoft and CompTIA, CISCO Routing and Switching. A sequence of three Graphic Communications classes prepares students for web design. These credit-based courses apply toward WNC Certificates of Achievement and Applied Associate of Arts degrees. Post-secondary students and current employees can choose between three academic sessions: Summer 2016, Fall 2016 or Spring 2017. All classes are online-based with instructional help. Tuition and exam assistance is available for all classes.

ITGT hopes to employ 75 percent of trainees within three months of course completion. According to the OSIT, STEM industries in Nevada—advanced manufacturing, IT, cyber security, energy and agriculture—are growing faster than non-STEM industries.


While Tesla and Faraday Future have made recent national headlines in Nevada, the City of Henderson has quietly positioned itself for the next phase of growth in Nevada. Recognized as the “Las Vegas Valley Address for Business Success”, Henderson has an impressive lineup of internationally recognized brands in business such as Levi Strauss & Co., Barclays, Toyota Financial and Unilever with significant business operations in the city.

Nevada State Focus
Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest gold producer, recently opened this Global Info Management and Tech facility in Henderson’s Green Valley Corporate Center. (Photo: City of Henderson)

In the past year, new arrivals to Henderson include businesses in sectors from financial services, technology, logistics and advanced manufacturing.

Logistics service providers FedEx Ground and OnTrac have completed major capital investments. FedEx Ground completed a new 300,000 square foot facility while OnTrac now occupies a new 130,000 square foot facility in Henderson to meet growing demand for logistics services in the region.

Two food processing operations are new additions that are now joining other long-time Henderson companies in this sector that presently include Ocean Spray Cranberries, TH Foods, Flowers Foods, Ethel M Mars and Unilever.

Turano Baking Company, a maker of breads and rolls for retailers, food distributors, and restaurant chains, is closing on a 32 acre parcel and will be building a new west coast facility consisting of 125,000 square feet to start with room to grow. The capital investment for this project is projected to be nearly $50 million and construction is anticipated to start by the 3rd quarter of this year.

Living Ecology, a manufacturer of organic food bars, recently occupied a new 100,000 square foot production facility making a capital investment in the range of $10 million and creating nearly 3 dozen jobs.

Barclaycard, the credit card division of Barclays, announced plans this year to expand its financial services operations in Henderson to include the addition of 150 primary jobs in HR, Finance, IT, Customer Service and Risk Management, as well as the occupancy of another 54,000 square feet of space at the Green Valley Corporate Center. With the completion of this expansion, the company will employ nearly 1,300 staff at their Henderson campus.

In late 2015, Barrick Gold Corporation, the world’s largest gold producer, formally opened a 12,000 square foot office location in the Henderson’s Green Valley Corporate Center as well. Barrick’s Henderson office serves as the hub for the company’s Global Information Management and Technology function. A team of 30 employees in Henderson uses some of the most advanced technology available to support operations around the world. In the coming months, key corporate functions in the Finance, Corporate Affairs, Supply Chain, and Environmental fields will also be relocated to Henderson, bringing an additional 40-50 new jobs.

Meanwhile, Henderson has an impressive pipeline of nearly 3 million square feet of spec industrial product in various phases of completion. Projects by recognized names such as Panattoni Development Company, Prologis, Harsh Investment Properties and others is positioning the community to accommodate the next wave of business relocation and expansion projects desiring to locate in this award-winning city. Companies of all sizes can be accommodated, as the developments currently underway will be providing spaces in ranges from about 15,000 to 500,000 square feet that are well suited for advanced manufacturing, e-commerce and logistics operations.

Staffing new operations in Henderson is made easier for human resources professionals as the city is well known for its master-planned communities and high quality of living. The city leads all major Nevada cities in median household incomes and the education levels of its residents, which is important for operations needing skilled talent. Anchor educational institutions in Henderson include Touro University, Nevada State College, College of Southern Nevada, ITT Technical Institute and Roseman University of Health Sciences is also in the mix to help companies attract and further develop talent.

It’s clear that Henderson has much to offer and it’s record of success is consistent with companies of all sizes streaming in annually with significant business facilities taking advantage of the city’s thriving business climate, outstanding demographics and array of opportunities for businesses of all sizes.


Home of Naval Air Station Fallon, the U.S. Navy’s premier training facility, Churchill County is one of the few communities in the country that is 100 percent powered by green energy. Between geothermal, solar, and hydropower, Churchill County is the center of the universe for the renewable energy industry.

Fallon, NV is located in Churchill County, just one hour east of Reno and an hour-and-a-half from Lake Tahoe.

As the gateway to the Great Basin, Churchill County boasts abundant recreational opportunities and is a short drive from the historical sites and mines of Nevada’s past.

Fallon has a thriving agriculture industry with 60,000 acres of production and 22 dairies that provide milk to the Dairy Farmers of America whole milk powder plant in Fallon. There also is a developing row-crop and specialty crop farm/local food movement, including a vineyard and Nevada’s only estate distillery, the award-winning Frey Ranch providing spirits and wines “from ground to glass.”

Naval Air Station Fallon, is home to the Fighting Saints of VFC-13, the Desert Outlaws of Strike Fighter Wing Pacific and the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center, and serves as the Navy’s premier tactical air warfare training center. The 14,000-foot runway remains the longest in the Navy, making Fallon a one-stop training facility unequaled throughout the military. Over 3,000 active-duty personnel, civilian employees and DoD contractors work in and around the center.

The area has a strong, natural-resource based economy with a surprisingly diverse population of skilled workers, a pro-business environment, easy access to rail (Union Pacific and Burlington Northern) and highway (US 95 and I-80) transportation corridors, just miles from the Tahoe Regional Industrial Center, home of the new Tesla battery plant.

Churchill County is also rich in green energy with highly developed geothermal resources, the new Frontier Observatory for Resource in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) research project that pairs Sandia National Laboratory with the Navy and the DOE, advanced technology in solar power generation, and hydro-power generation. The community has abundant renewable resources.

Development opportunities include several large rail-served industrial parcels in western Churchill County ranging in size from 10 to 640 acres. Most have electric, gas, and dark fiber at or near the site. There are many other large, non-rail served parcels suitable for development. A limited number of sites have existing access to municipal sewer and water. The Hazen and western Churchill County area have excess rail capacity and two branch lines operating in the area, the Mina Branch and Fallon Lead, with available switches already installed. Upon authorization of the Board of Commissioners, Churchill County can make available 250,000 gallons of water per day through the Ashbrook wastewater package treatment plant, which can be relocated to any suitable site.

The City of Fallon has several parcels available in the New River Business Park, offering shovel-ready, customizable one-acre to fifteen-acre lots, with fully built infrastructure and utilities. Fallon Municipal Airport, with a newly reconstructed 5,703-foot runway and new Automated Weather Observation System has just gone through a $4 million upgrade in facilities and equipment.

One of few rural communities with as much broadband technology, fiber is available throughout the community, including 96-stand dark fiber.

Fallon’s local campus of the Western Nevada College is implementing needed training programs specific to companies interested in locating in the Northern Nevada region, and has recently built an Information Technology Gateway Training program to meet the IT needs of community businesses.

Dairy Farmers of America recently built a $90 million dry milk-powdered plant that processes up to 2 million pounds of milk each day from local dairies, primarily for the export market. They ship several truckloads of dry milk to the Port of Oakland each day.