Sisolak Highlights Need for More Diversity in Nevada’s Economy
Diversifying Nevada’s economy is key to creating more stability and opportunity for workers, Governor Steve Sisolak said on Wednesday after visiting a Henderson silver coinage business.
The governor said he supported efforts to create more manufacturing jobs in Nevada after the Sunshine Minting tour.
Sisolak’s visit to the 142,000 square foot facility was part of a week-long tour of manufacturers and distribution facilities for its Jobs + Workers Week, intended to highlight Nevada’s economic recovery after the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
He also visited a distribution center for beauty retailer Sephora and a panel discussion with unions such as the AFL-CIO, among others.
Sisolak credited a tax break and the governor’s office with economic development for attracting large warehouses and manufacturers, like Sunshine Minting, to the state. The coin maker supplies silver bars and collectibles to governments around the world.
“We have a lot of characteristics that make Nevada, and southern Nevada in particular, an attractive environment to settle in,” Sisolak said. “When you see that, 150 people work there. It’s open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and they’re going to get bigger. The rebates helped them come, so it’s money well spent.
Sunshine recently received approval for an abatement – a reduction or discount on tax obligations – on its Henderson facility, which is estimated to be around $ 368,880 over 10 years. The company moves its headquarters to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and expands its operations.
“It’s a diversification of Nevada that we’re striving to achieve,” Sisolak said. “I wish we could get more of it. I mean, these are great jobs, these are high paying jobs, and they don’t depend as much on the tourism industry, so that’s great.
Sunshine employs 125 people in southern Nevada and, with this expansion, would hire an additional 75 to 100 employees over the next two years, the company said. The average hourly wage is $ 21.38.
Tom Power, president and CEO of Sunshine, said the company first purchased a satellite facility in Henderson in 2009, but it has grown rapidly.
The company’s management saw the interest in moving its operations to the Las Vegas area, as it shortened the supply chain thanks to its proximity to Los Angeles and access to rail and air transportation. They also had a larger hiring pool in Las Vegas than in Idaho due to the state’s low unemployment rate.
“Las Vegas is a 24 hour city, (and) we operate 24 hours a day, 12 hour shifts,” Power said. “It was easy to find people who are okay with that because the lifestyle here is built on it.”
Expanded industrial jobs may require more skilled workers. At Sunshine Minting, more than half of factory jobs have on-the-job training, but still others require prior industrial experience to operate machinery such as forklifts and presses.
Sisolak said building the skills of the workforce will ensure that all businesses coming to Nevada can have the workforce they need to operate.
“We need to do more apprenticeship training for skilled workers,” he said. “They’re not just ordinary unskilled or low-skilled people, they’re people who work on presses there.”
McKenna Ross is a member of the body of Report for America, a national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms. Contact her at [email protected] Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.