The manufacturing sector in Northern Nevada looks upbeat as the calendar turns to 2017.
Many manufacturers relocated to the region in 2016, including notably Mary’s Gone Crackers (from California); Cimpress (from Massachusetts); and Revision Brewing (from California).
Mary’s Gone Crackers for instance, moved into a brand-new 420,000-square-foot facility in the North Valleys. The Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center also continues its development.
Early in December, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada celebrated 27 companies that either relocated or expanded their operations in the region in 2016. At least one-third of them were in the manufacturing sector.
EDAWN executives noted, while they could not comment on anything specific, they did have several inquiries from other out-of-state companies looking to relocate to northern Nevada. Likewise the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), which serves Carson City and rural Nevada, has been in negotiations with potential companies interested in the area.
Companies that have moved into northern Nevada often cite the business friendly tax climate and proximity to transportation outlets such as Interstate 80 and easy access to railway and logistics systems as key reasons to relocate to the region.
One concern as interest grows in northern Nevada is scarcity of available land to develop projects, especially in metropolitan areas including Reno-Sparks and Carson City.
“One thing we are seeing, which we’re seeing in the whole region, is a limited amount of options for facilities,” said Cary Richardson, vice president of business operations for Miles Construction in Carson City in an interview earlier this year.
Cosmetic Enterprises Ltd. (CEL), a manufacturer of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products company is relocating from California to a 60,000-square-foot facility in Lyon County previously occupied by Oakley, Inc. a maker of sunglasses. Miles Construction is overseeing the remodeling stages of the project.
Outlying rural counties with more available land could be another outlet for companies looking to expand.
Nathan Strong, interim director of the Churchill Economic Development Authority said Churchill County has an abundance of space.
“We (Churchill County) see it as an opportunity,” Strong said, including several towns in the area such as Silver Springs and Stagecoach. “Other areas are reaching full capacity and running out of stock. We have plenty of shovel-ready sites.”
Strong said Churchill County is one of the few counties to offer high-speed broadband capabilities for businesses. He adds that it also has railway and highway access nearby for potential companies.
Richardson added that many companies may prefer relocating to rural counties to avoid competition for a workforce with larger companies in TRIC or the North Valleys region of Reno.
“Some of these companies don’t want to have to compete for workforce from Tesla,” Richardson said. “There are benefits to being next to companies at TRIC, but you do have that competing workforce.”
According to statistics from the Nevada Governor’s Office on Economic Development web site, manufacturing accounts for 13,000 jobs in northern Nevada. In mid-2016, EDAWN and NNDA created the Western Manufacturing Alliance to address critical issues related to the manufacturing sector.