During a short trip to tour a Mound House machine plant, Carson City Mayor Robert Crowell said Thursday that manufacturing is an important slice of life in the city and region.
“In my language, it creates wealth,” he told Gerd Poppinga, founder and president of Vineburg Machining. The firm’s new and expanded plant makes machine parts for medical, transport and other industries.
The mayor said the industrial park to which Vineburg moved from a smaller plant seems to have grown since he last visited, and he plugged regional manufacturing growth. He also said a larger pool of skilled labor for such technical work is important, decrying the current situation.
“I just wish there were a bigger pool,” he said. The mayor supports retaining a strong Western Nevada College in part because it helps train such workers. Sven Klatt, Vineburg general manager who was helping with the tours, teaches at WNC and wants the same growth in the number of skilled workers about which Crowell spoke.
Poppinga told the mayor there are thousands of such workers in Germany. Both Poppinga and Klatt, a generation apart, got their machining educations in the same place before emigrating to the United States.
The tour was part of back-to-back events involving a meeting of 26 members from the manufacturers’ forum of the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), followed by the open house and tours. On hand along with the mayor were a host of manufacturers, skilled-worker-training experts and manufacturing development representatives or supporters.
Among the latter group were Kris Holt of Nevada Business Development, Andrew Haskin of NNDA, Roger Kadz of the Nevada State Development Corp. and Ray Bacon of the Nevada Manufacturers Association.
There were even representatives of the Carson City Arts Initiative (CCAI), touting four art pieces associated with industry themes that Poppinga and they were displaying at the new Vineburg headquarters. Sharon Rosse and Glenn Clemmer were among the 75 people or so that Vineburg says attended in their bid to promote manufacturing.
“Our primary goal is to make Northern Nevada a major player in the manufacturing industry,” Poppinga said in his invitation. The open house and tours were to run from 4 to 7 p.m.