It’s hard to keep your hands to yourself in Western Nevada College’s Industrial Technology Lab. Spread out over multiple rooms in the Reynolds Center, the lab holds every piece of equipment a student would need to learn and experience to work in industrial technology.
When Guy Gardner bought Quality Plastics in Sparks in 1983, the company had a single piece of technology: a photocopier. Today, the company’s staff of 35 relies extensively on the tools of technology to design and manufacture often-complex plastics products for business-to- business, business-to- government and business-to-consumer markets.
The logistics industry used to be all about big metal — semi-trailer trucks and warehouses filled with miles of steel racking. These days, the logistics business is about big data just as much as it’s about big metal, and northern Nevada companies continue to be among the industry’s leaders. Just look, for instance, at the ways that technology is helping to drive the rapid growth of ITS Logistics, the locally grown company that recently moved into a 630,000-square- foot facility in Sparks.
In the most traditional sense of the word, it is easy to see how the idea of “printing” may seem like a dated concept. “Printing” — in and of itself — sounds like a static, old school, practically prehistoric medium. But Nevada Blue accepts that traditional paradigm as a challenge — and rises above it owing to new, leading-edge technology.
While women make up 59 percent of the U.S. labor force, women hold only about 22 percent of leadership positions in the country’s top tech companies, according to company diversity reports. That’s not the case at Switch, where half of the company’s 14 top executives are women. Several hold high-level technical positions, including having chief responsibility for construction and engineering.
As the world becomes more digitized, the health care industry is racing to keep up, sparking an explosion of new digital technology geared to improving patient care. Most visible to patients is the move to electronic medical records, or EHRs, by doctors and hospitals in an effort to streamline record-keeping and meet federal guidelines. But that’s only one of dozens of new tech advances that are designed to make life better for the ill, elderly and disabled.
I am often reminded about how young the technology industry is, and there is no better time to reflect on the past than during one of life’s great milestones, turning 60. That happened to me recently, so let’s have a quick look back on how technology has evolved over that time span and reflect on how it has changed our lives.