John Barrette

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October 9, 2013
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Successes in life rarely accidental

If you make it, you didn’t fake it.

That generally applies whether you built a successful career or a successful manufacturing concern. It’s true of other things as well. But this column will look back at the work of outgoing City Manager Larry Warner, who spent more than five years at Carson City’s helm, and look forward to prospects for a manufacturing rebound in Northern Nevada.

First to manufacturing. It requires precise craftsmanship combined with computer savvy and a commitment to excellence. This is a world ruled by mathematics and physics, not social metrics — whatever those are. In manufacturing, you can’t fake it.

The reward is ample for manufacturers; for their employees, it is pay exceeding a minimum or burger-flipping wage. Such pay is upward of $20 hourly with good benefits after gaining requisite skills, enough experience, and a reputation for reliability.

So this is an important period in Northern Nevada’s economic recovery. Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association, during a panel presentation about industry on KNPB’s educational television channel in Reno said there are Nevada manufacturers that could grow threefold during the next five years.

The show aired Friday and Sunday evenings. It should be available on KNPB’s website next week, according to the station.

Bacon is no Pollyanna. He says Nevada manufacturing lost 10,000 jobs in the recession, down from 48,000, and has recouped just 2,000. A few weeks ago, he was saying the state had recouped only a thousand such jobs. On the TV show, he hedged any optimism by saying there could yet be future blockages.

Today a Sierra Regional Manufacturers Conference occurs at the Carson Nugget. The day-long event is designed to give Northern Nevada industrial concerns more tools to find the work force they need, make products better and export those products anywhere. The timing is good. A manufacturing renaissance is possible in this nation, state and region. Don’t bet against it.

Now to Werner, who made it in his career but retires in December. He made it, whatever you think of the way he managed the city. His nearly six years at the helm here capped a solid career as a government engineer and manager in Washington state and Nevada. His rise was no fluke. He handled people with finesse, problems by offering solutions. Being city manager isn’t easy.

Few can rival Solomon, whose baby-cutting bluff demonstrated discernment. You undoubtedly recall it was Solomon who figured out which was the real mother with his bluffing stunt.

Werner isn’t Solomon, but he did know how to cut an issue in difficult times or circumstances. Replacing the city manager won’t be a walk in the park.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Oct 9, 2013 12:47AM Published Oct 9, 2013 07:00PM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.