By Rob Sabo | Special to the NNBV
Technology companies continue to flock to Northern Nevada. In addition to bringing a slate of new jobs to the region, they also are providing an influx of capital that’s reshaping the region’s new economy.
Gaming will always be a major contributor to the region’s economic health. Likewise, the Sierra Nevada will always offer world-class outdoor recreation and skiing that draws residents of the Truckee Meadows, Sacramento Valley and San Francisco Bay Area alike for winter and summertime activities.
But Reno has diversified over the past decade or so from its longtime roots in gaming, construction, tourism and warehousing/distribution. Its new economy is powered in part by the likes of technology giants such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Tesla, Panasonic, Switch, and many, many smaller technology companies that have planted their flags here in recent years.
Newcomers to the region won’t recall the bad days before these companies landed, when the Great Recession cut regional housing prices in half (or more), residential foreclosures and retail store closings were routine, and unemployment topped out in the double digits.
Hopefully, new residents won’t ever see such dark days during the next economic downturn, as technology companies — along with advanced manufacturing and e-commerce — are expected to provide better shelter for all of Greater Reno-Sparks.
Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, says efforts to bring more technology companies to the region were part of EDAWN’s long-range plans to diversify the regional economy and grow the community into a technology hub that capitalizes on its proximity to the Bay Area.
“We have done that by significantly growing our advanced manufacturing cluster here, which in large part includes robotics, coding, software development — things that help the technology talent in the region find good jobs,” Kazmierski says. “We also pushed for data centers — there were no data centers here seven years ago.
“We were fortunate to land Apple, and we’ve had several other significant data centers join our region, and that has added technology talent to the area.”
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