Governor's Office of Economic Development
In an effort to help Nevadans who are unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation (OWINN) are using CARES Act funding to make the Emsi SkillsMatch tool available for those seeking to get back into the job market.
“The SkillsMatch software platform will help people identify which employment skills they have and perhaps more importantly, help them identify which skills they need to obtain to become more employable in today’s job market,” said Michael Brown, GOED Executive Director.
The Nevada SkillsMatch tool is free and available at It is not a job board, but it can be used to connect individuals to jobs that meet their qualifications. The SkillsMatch tool helps individuals understand career and education opportunities that may be a good fit with past experience.
Executive Director Michael Brown
With vaccines being distributed, I am confident that Nevada will begin its economic recovery from the pandemic caused recession. This will not happen overnight, but we are poised to get our state back on track.
As bleak as 2020 was, there was much to be proud of in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). I was proud of how GOED nimbly moved into recovery mode. Under the leadership of Governor Steve Sisolak and working alongside the State Treasurer’s Office and the Department of Business and Industry, GOED played a key role in implementing the following programs:
  • Commercial Rental Assistance Grant Program (CRAG) which doled out $7.2 million to 783 small businesses for lease assistance.
  • Pandemic Emergency Technical Support Grant Program (PETS) has been allocated $51 million so far to help small businesses to cover expenses.
I was particularly proud of the role GOED played in successfully recruiting companies to make significant investments and creating in demand, high skilled and high paying jobs in Nevada:
  • In September, the GOED Board approved abatements for Lithium Nevada Corp. and Google that will result in $1.1 billion in investments and the creation of 163 permanent jobs and 5,300 construction jobs.
  • In December, the Board approved abatements for 11 companies that will generate $90 million in tax revenue and create 1,991 jobs over the next 10 years.
As we are all anxious to return to some sense of normalcy in 2021, Gov. Sisolak and his team are busily preparing for the free of charge mass vaccination of all Nevadans. Meanwhile, when I hear about projects such as the $3 billion completely green data center that the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada recently announced, I remain bullish about our state’s economic future.
The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Board of Directors  approved abatements on December 2nd, 2020, for 11 companies that will generate $90,207,019 in tax revenue and create 1,991 jobs over the next 10 years.
I am glad to welcome these companies to the Silver State to help to diversify our economy and create in-demand, high-skilled, and good-paying jobs,” Governor Steve Sisolak said. “As we continue to navigate the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, job creation and rebuilding our economy remains a top priority.”
The companies that were approved for abatements by the GOED Board at the last board meeting include:
  • Acorn Pulp Group, LLC, in Washoe County
  • American Battery Technology Company in Lyon County
  • Beyond Meat, Inc., in Washoe County
  • Centerline Structural Innovations, Inc., of Washoe County
  • GigaCrete, Inc., of Clark County
  • Lithion Battery, Inc., of Clark County
  • Nanotech Energy Inc., of Washoe County
  • Safe Life Defense, LLC of Clark County
  • SAMSARG, Inc., of Lyon County
  • Sonoma Creamery LLC of Washoe County
  • ZLINE Kitchen and Bath, LLC of Washoe County
Labor Supply Certification Study Launched to Address Workforce Needs
With funding made available through the CARES Act, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is launching a Labor Supply Certification Study to assist workforce development efforts to help people displaced by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Nevada workers have been hit hard by this health crisis,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “That’s why we have embarked on this study to make sure we’re focused on the right programs for individuals who need to acquire new skills to find employment. Our goal is to help underemployed, unemployed and folks who have fallen out of the workforce the opportunity to get back on track.”
GOED has retained the Growth Services Group, LLC., (GSG) a national workforce intelligence consultant, to administer a local Labor Supply Certification study. To participate in a random household survey, go to NevadaLaborSurvey.Com.
The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has expanded a program statewide through Nevada’s two universities to help technology entrepreneurs earn federal grant funding to support early-stage development of their businesses or innovations.
Initially funded through the Federal And State Technology Partnership (FAST) at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in 2019, the Sierra Accelerator for Growth and Entrepreneurship (SAGE) program is being continued at UNR and expanded to southern Nevada at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with GOED Knowledge Fund support.
“At a critical moment for small technology-based businesses in our state, the Knowledge Fund has identified the SAGE program as an ideal partner to substantially improve small technology-based businesses’ access to federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant opportunities,” said Michael Brown, GOED Executive Director. “GOED has worked with UNR and UNLV to create a statewide SBIR/STTR support structure by leveraging the recently established SAGE program by further developing its effort and impact as well as broadening its reach.”
SAGE is designed to put Nevada’s small technology-based businesses on the path to earn grant funding through the competitive SBIR and STTR programs. Known as “America’s Seed Fund,” the SBIR and STTR programs offer Phase 1 grants of up to $225,000 and Phase 2 grants of up to $750,000.
GOED Announces Winners of Rural Nevada Startup Pitch Competition
New Tech Products of Amargosa Valley won the first Rural Nevada Startup Pitch Competition held earlier this month.
“I would like to congratulate Bruce Crater’s company for putting together the winning pitch,” said Michael Brown, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Executive Director. “The concept of this competition was to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rural Nevada that includes mentorship, access to capital and an opportunity to network among competitors.”
Cash prize money was provided by NV Energy, with additional awards coming from StartUpNV and the Audacity Institute. Each company had seven minutes to make their pitch and then answered questions from judges for five minutes.
New Tech Products, LLC, earned $1,150 for first place and also won the Audience Choice award. New Tech Products makes the Tidy Oil Changer. It is a molded plastic device that attaches magnetically to the oil pan to divert oil into a separate catch basin. A drill bit goes through the plastic device to loosen the screw to allow the oil into the plastic diversion device. It changes jobs into a white glove, clean job.
Goat Shell, represented by George Skivington earned $500 for second place. Goat Shells are hard sided pop-up camper shells that come in two sizes to fit over regular and long bed trucks. They are priced much lower than their competition.
GL Innovation, represented by Gerald Laughter earned $250 for third place. GL Innovation makes battery interrupters for large vehicles and mining sites. Future markets include electric cars and aircraft.
The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Board of Directors granted $2 million from the Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada (WINN) Fund to the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) for an advanced manufacturing rapid response program in partnership with Haas Automation, Inc. The WINN Fund was designed to address industry business needs by creating, customizing or expanding workforce training programs that will impart the skills needed by employers.

“We applaud and are grateful for GOED’s decision to use WINN funding to support this advanced manufacturing initiative and the endorsement we have received from our private sector partner, Haas Automation, Inc.”, said Dr. Federico Zaragoza, College of Southern Nevada President. “This effort bolsters CSN’s plan to develop a skilled workforce and support the state’s efforts to diversify Nevada’s economy.”

“Nevada’s commitment to developing the programs necessary to grow a skilled manufacturing workforce is proof that Haas Automation made the right decision to invest in Southern Nevada. Our new 2.5 million square-foot state-of-the-art factory is scheduled to be completed in 2023 in the City of Henderson and is set to employ thousands of local Nevada residents. As the largest manufacturer of machine tools in the US, we understand that skilled workers are essential to our success. Right on cue, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has established the WINN program to help fund programming that will meet our needs and those of other manufacturers in the region. Another key partner is the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). Planning is already underway at CSN to establish training programs for Haas’ and other manufacturer’s needs. We appreciate the work being done in Nevada to help make our new factory a success and we look forward to being part of the community.”

— Gene Haas, Founder and CEO
University of Nevada, Reno Innevation Center
This fall marked five years since the opening of the downtown Reno co-working environment. Over this time, the Innevation Center has acted on its mission statement to advance Nevada’s innovation economy by providing startups and entrepreneurs with resources and connections and providing a catalyst for accelerating regional innovation with the ultimate objective of spurring economic growth, jobs and investment.
The accomplishments over the past five years are tangible:
  • 370 jobs have been created by Innevation Center companies and organizations.
  • $88 million in private or venture capital funding has been raised by Innevation Center companies.
Storey, Clark and Washoe Score High
in Emsi’s Talent Attraction Index
Emsi’s Talent Attraction Index uses the most currently available data on population and migration, growth of jobs and skilled workers, regional competitiveness, and education attainment to determine whether communities are moving in the right direction in growing their talent pool. This year’s Scorecard captures the status of counties just before the pandemic hit. Storey County, Clark County, and Washoe County all scored extremely high in this year’s Scorecard. Clark County was ranked second in the Top 10 Large Counties. Washoe County had one of the largest ratings jumps out of all the large counties – it went from 91st in 2019 to 50th in 2020. Storey County maintained its top spot and ranked first in Micro Counties. With the Tesla Gigafactory front and center, the county has seen a 219 percent rise in jobs from 2015 through 2019 with a skilled job growth of 221 percent.
Northern Nevada Development Authority Announces Industrial Realty Group Purchase of Fernley Rail Park
Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA) today announced that Industrial Realty Group, LLC (IRG), one of the largest industrial real estate developers in the nation, recently purchased a 224-acre site strategically located just east of Fernley, Nevada. The property is situated in both Lyon and Churchill counties.
The planned “Western Nevada Commerce Center” is located at 11000 Reno Highway and sits along U.S. Highway 50. It has excellent proximity to the Interstate 80 interchange and is just 30 minutes from Reno. The master plan features development land for build-to-suit opportunities and outside storage/yard space, 24/7 rail transloading, and an existing switch with rail infrastructure. Also in place are necessary utilities and favorable zoning.
This particular site has the rare distinction of being dually served by two Class 1 freight railroads: Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and BNSF Railway (BNSF). Because RenoSparks and the Sierra Region are both bisected by key rail and interstate highways, it has a federal “port of entry” designation.
LVGEA Stays Proactive During Pandemic
Despite the pandemic, the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance has been active in efforts to help diversify the economy and illustrate the benefits of living and working in Southern Nevada. Among some of the 2020 efforts were:
Quality-of-Life Campaign:  LVGEA launched a multi-year, quality-of-life campaign. Created before the pandemic, it will continue to run through the recovery phase. In this campaign, LVGEA is sharing news of Las Vegas' quality of life, affordable housing, and low taxation for people looking to meet their various goals. The campaign entails digital ads, landing pages, and a commercial aimed at millennial remote workers in California markets. The commercial link for more information can be found here:
Outlook ’21 Recap:  On Dec. 2, LVGEA and UNLV Lee Business School provided an in-depth analysis of what to expect heading into 2021 on national and global levels, in addition to a focus on Southern Nevada. Hosted virtually, Outlook ’21 brought together Beacon Economics’ Chris Thornberg and UNLV Professor Stephen Miller to provide the audience with data and insight needed to do business in Las Vegas. Check out the recap:
LVGEA-Assisted Companies Expanding:  Three companies have been approved for state incentives to relocate to or expand in Southern Nevada with the assistance of LVGEA. With approval from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s Board of Directors, the following companies will add 367 regional jobs in the next five years: Safe Life Defense, Lithion Battery and GigaCrete. Details can be found here:
$3 Billion Energos Project to Build
Largest Carbon-Neutral Industrial Park
in US near Reno
An ambitious green technology project in Nevada’s high desert aims to build the largest carbon-neutral industrial park powered by locally generated renewable energy in the United States.
TerraScale, a firm that specializes in clean energy design, announced on Tuesday that it plans to develop up to 3,700-acres of land in Churchill County just east of Reno for its Energos project. The project will start out with $220 million worth of development on 10 acres of land near Fernley for its first phase.
The initial phase involves building a 20-megawatt, zero-carbon footprint data center that will initially use a mix of renewables and natural gas. Construction will start in early 2021 with an expected completion of March 31, 2022. TerraScale is partnering with AlphaStruxure, an energy-as-a-service company, for designing, building and financing an integrated energy solution for the project site.
EDAWN: 30 New Companies for 2020 in Northern Nevada to Add Nearly 2,300 Jobs
At the end of each year, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada celebrates myriad companies it helped woo to the Northern Nevada region.
This year, EDAWN assisted 30 companies to relocate and/or expand their workforce to the Greater Reno-Sparks region.
According to a Dec. 15 press release, these businesses are expected to add a combined 2,295 new jobs at an average wage of $28 in the coming years. Further, 11 of the companies will establish new corporate headquarters in Northern Nevada.
Amazon Details Nevada Plans for 8 Buildings,
2K more Jobs
Amazon is building in Las Vegas — again and again and again.
The online retailer unveiled plans to open three customer fulfillment and delivery centers in the Las Vegas Valley next year, bringing its total of new locations in Nevada to eight.
“Amazon has been a part of Nevada for over 20 years since we launched in Reno,” Amazon Fulfillment General Manager Perry Williams said. “We’ve seen such a great workforce here, very talented individuals, and we consider ourselves a part of the community and excited to continue our partnership here within the state.”
Las Vegas Body Armor Company Among Businesses Expanding During Pandemic
A Las Vegas body armor company launched in the owner’s kitchen is among 11 Nevada companies expanding during the pandemic and getting nearly $30 million in tax abatements.
Safe Life Defense, which started five years ago and now has about 100 employees, plans to add more than 370 jobs over the next 10 years.
The market is so hot for Safe Life’s products right now that Inc. magazine recently named it among the top 300 fastest-growing private companies in America.
In the spring, the company will move its design and manufacturing operation from Russell Road and South Valley View Boulevard to a 140,000-square-foot complex near the Las Vegas Raiders practice facility in Henderson.
Economists Predict Recovery for Las Vegas
Two economists told Las Vegas business leaders that with the arrival of coronavirus vaccines Southern Nevada should help with an economic recovery by the third quarter of 2021 and that the gaming industry should rebound closer to normal in 2022.
That was the message from Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Southern California-based Beacon Economics and Stephen Miller, a UNLV economist and director of its Center for Economic and Business Research.
The comments from the duo at a virtual conference hosted by Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance mirrors ones made by Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox who spoke virtually to Peter Guzman, president of the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce.
German Company to Build 10,700-square-foot Center at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center
Throughout the pandemic, companies from all corners of the country have been expanding or relocating to fast-growing Northern Nevada. Some are even migrating from across the pond.
One of the latest international companies to carve out space in greater Reno-Sparks is German-based thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions. A global supplier in the cement and mining industries, thyssenkrupp is investing in a 10,700-square-foot service and manufacturing center at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center in Storey County.
The project is expected to break ground in January and slated for completion as soon as September.
Backed by Public and Private Grants, Mobile Tech Lab Arrives in Northern Nevada
Imagine a world where a college came to you. Well, that world is just about here with Western Nevada College’s new Tech Express Lab.
The Automaton and Industrial Technology Center’s striking mobile learning lab was delivered to the college the last week of September, bringing excitement and anticipation to the Carson City campus. It will serve as a mobile teaching space beginning in Spring.
Nevada Economic Officials: Rail, Lithium Projects Set Region Up Well for Recovery
In March, Nevada’s economic leaders were tasked with getting the state back on a positive post-pandemic track to long-lasting recovery. A piece of that roadmap, they’ve discovered, could come from a rise in rail.
This was epitomized when officials announced that Los Angeles-based industrial real estate developer Industrial Realty Group had recently purchased the 224-acre Western Nevada Rail Park east of Fernley to construct a large-scale railroad freight operations and logistics center.
State Puts $31M toward Small Business Grants

A state program that provides COVID-19 relief funds to small businesses and nonprofits got another funding boost in the beginning of December.
The Board of Examiners, a panel comprised of Gov. Steve Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, on Tuesday approved putting an additional $31 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds into Pandemic Emergency Technical Support Grant, bringing the total funding to $51 million that is available to eligible small businesses and nonprofits. The governor’s office had previously announced $20 million of those additional funds.
Warsaw School of Economics a Key International Partner for The College of Business
Within the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Business, one trade mission, set up by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and then-Governor, now University President, Brian Sandoval, continues to have a lasting impact within the University’s College of Business. In 2017, as part of the GOED Trade and Educational Mission to Poland, the College signed a memorandum of understanding with the Warsaw School of Economics, guided by the desire to expand cooperation and exchange ideas between both scholars and students at the two universities.
Switch SVP Betsy Fretwell Named Chairwoman of LVGEA Board of Directors
The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA) proudly welcomes its incoming Chairwoman of the Board, Betsy Fretwell, SVP of Switch Cities with Switch, the Las Vegas-based technology infrastructure corporation. The appointment was confirmed on Thursday, December 3, to take effect beginning in January 2021.
“It is an honor to serve as Chairwoman of the LVGEA 50 board of directors,” said Fretwell. “I am committed to leading the organization and our Board with the strategies, initiatives and efforts necessary to help strengthen our economy for the long term while we also pay keen attention to recovery needs.
“It will take significant efforts of our business partners, civic leaders and government agencies to help our region bounce back,” she continued. “I thank Derrick Hill for his leadership over the last two years and look forward to working with Clark Wood as the new Vice Chairman along with the incoming Executive Committee members and board members.”
Fretwell, who drives strategic development, implementation, and national expansion at Switch, has been serving as vice chair of the LVGEA 50 Board the past two years.

Governor Steve Sisolak, Chairman
Kate Marshall, Lieutenant Governor
Barbara Cegavske, Secretary of State
Mr. James Barrett, President, the JABarrett Company
Dr. Dana Bennett, Former President, Nevada Mining Association
Dr. Weldon (Don) Havins, MD, JD, Professor and Director of Medical Jurisprudence and Ophthalmology, Touro University Nevada
Mr. Dan Klaich, Voting Member At-Large
Alex Dixon, President, Western Region at PureStar
Mr. Raymond Specht, Founder and CEO, Specht Leadership Consulting
Elisa Cafferata, Interim Director, Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation
Melody Rose, Chancellor, Nevada System of Higher Education
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