Exports and education were touted as key to Carson City-area manufacturing concerns during a Wednesday business breakfast meeting.
The Northern Nevada Development Authority session in the Carson Nugget focused on manufacturing and exporting, with various how-to tips regarding the latter, but NNDA Director Rob Hooper prefaced morning talks with praise for Western Nevada College. He touted what WNC does to help train a business and manufacturing work force in the region.
“Western Nevada College is really the focal point at the end of the day,” Hooper said. “We just can’t let their budgets get cut.”
Hooper said work force development is crucial because bringing new manufacturers in and growing those already here requires a supply of trained people. Otherwise, he said, going concerns will just be robbing each other of good personnel.
“We can’t let that happen,” he said.
There are 460 manufacturing operations in the Sierra Nevada region, Hooper said. He also said people elsewhere are noticing Nevada as a place of opportunity for the manufacturing sector, taking credit in part for NNDA spreading the word nationwide.
“It’s just amazing the kind of attention we’re getting,” he said.
On hand to stress exporting opportunities and methods were Andrew Edlefsen, from the Las Vegas office of the U.S. Commerce Department commercial services division, and Robert Francis of Core4Consultants in Reno, who works with NNDA.
“We’re here,” Edlefsen told prospective exporters in the audience, “to get your products into foreign markets.”
He said exporting supports one in five jobs in the United States, and that his federal colleagues have 160 offices in 70 nations worldwide. He also said Las Vegas is a premier site for certified shows that connect buyers from across the globe with exporters in the United States.
He said a critical part of his and his federal colleagues’ role in helping exporters is giving them aid in finding viable partners in countries where prospective exporters want to sell their manufactured goods.
Francis cited finding a good partner in other countries as an important task during his comments as well. In addition, he said, determining target markets, reaching them and understanding the cultures in those markets are key. He provided suggestions about how to meet those challenges.
Various manufacturers were in the audience, among them Collie Hunter, president of Click Bond. The company makes adhesive bonded fasteners for air-transport and other vehicles. She said Click Bond employs more than 300 people, most in Carson City, and is adding a plant in the United Kingdom’s Wales. Click Bond’s other plant is in Watertown, Conn.
Also on hand was Bob McCann, an executive and leadership transition coach who works with NNDA. He introduced the manufacturers in the audience and praised manufacturing concerns because they provide what he called “primary jobs” that can support four people.