Geoff Dornan

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November 17, 2013
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Companies bring high paying jobs to region

The Economic Development Board headed by Gov. Brian Sandoval approved tax incentives that will bring four new companies to western Nevada and expand several existing firms.

According to the materials presented to the board on Thursday, all four of the firms pay an average of more than $20 an hour and intend to hire as many locals as possible.

One, New Logic Research, which opened for business in Minden a month ago, pays an average of $30 an hour to its employees.

New Logic will operate locally as Nevada Filtration Systems. According to CEO Greg Johnson, the company makes high-tech water filtration systems.

“We purify water for drinking, water for manufacturing, or treat water,” he said.

The company’s customers, he said, are power plants, landfills, paper plants and other operations that need large volumes of water and produce large volumes of water that needs treatment.

While they brought just six workers with them and hired six more locally, Johnson said they expect to be up to 30 employees in two years and 60 workers in four years.

“The vast majority will be hired locally,” he said.

To encourage them to relocate from California to Nevada, the development board agreed to $54,000 in abatements to sales, business and property taxes. But Economic Development Authority officials estimated the company’s total economic impact at more than $71.5 million.

Fernley will be the home of King Valley Clay’s new plant. President and CEO Jay Chmelauskas said the company makes specialty drilling fluids for the mining industry, fluids designed for applications where the drilling is both deep and in high temperature environments such as fracking.

The company will pay an average of $25 an hour to, initially, a dozen workers and he said they intend to hire all workers locally.

King Valley will invest more than $4 million in equipment, he said, in return for more than $41 million in economic impact. It’s tax abatements were estimated at more than $252,000.

One World Science, which makes nutritional supplements, will open a manufacturing and distribution operation in Reno. Company spokesman Gene Davis said the reason for the move is simply Nevada’s business-friendly tax climate.

“We’re in a competitive industry,” said Davis. “Being here gives us an advantage.”

One World pays an average of $22.36 an hour, will hire 22 people to start and make a $1 million capital investment in its operation. In return, it will get $71,800 in tax abatements over the next four years.

Davis said they hope to dramatically expand the Reno operation once open and have bought a facility three times their current operation in California to make that possible.

Innovative Drive Corporation plans to bring at least 12 new jobs to the Reno area, paying an average of $21 an hour. Luke Clauson said the company makes disposable specialty medical devices and should begin hiring in mid-2014. He said the tax incentives are an important reason for moving to Nevada and that they plan to hire locally.

One of the more difficult calls for the board to make was incentives for Agru America which makes extrusions — huge membranes used as liners in landfills and such places as mining ponds. Those membranes protect the environment by preventing chemicals from reaching groundwater.

The company plans to bring a half dozen jobs along with $3.5 million in capital investment to the Fernley plant by adding a fourth large machine. Spokesman Sarah Daniel said the company provides excellent health and other benefits and has spent some $21 million with Nevada vendors over the past six years.

“We’re very big on buying local when we can,” she said.

But the company’s average starting wage is just $10.90 an hour, well below what economic development usually demands.

“That wage level is scary,” said board member Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki.

But he said the excellent benefits offered by the Germany based company help offset that.

In the end, the board approved abatements totaling more than $247,000 citing economic impact of nearly $10 million and plans to expand significantly in the future.

The biggest job producer among the western Nevada companies approved Thursday was the expansion of Randa Accessories distribution center in Storey County. While they only pay an average of $12 an hour, the company promised to bring 75 new jobs to the center.

Randa makes and distributes leather accessories for a wide variety of product lines including Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole to retailers as varied as Macy’s and Walmart.

In addition, Video Gaming Technologies is expanding it’s Reno software development operation in Reno to include not only game development but sound development and audio design. Ryan Cuddy, vice president of game design, said since they hire almost exclusively engineers and computer techs, their average pay is $36.49 an hour. They plan to start by adding 18 staff in Reno and will be working with University of Nevada, Reno’s engineering department to hire locally. He said they hope to increase the Reno staff significantly in a year or so.

Finally, Pacific Cheese plans to expand significantly it’s Reno operation as does VEKA West which makes PVC plastic extrusions used to make windows.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Nov 17, 2013 01:07AM Published Nov 17, 2013 01:07AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.