Google at TRI means more skilled workers are needed
Google Inc.’s acquisition of 1,210 acres in Storey County’s Tahoe Reno Industrial Park could mean more trouble for Northern Nevada businesses looking for skilled workers.
“Workforce is going to be our No. 1 priority,” said Ray Bacon, executive director, Nevada Manufacturers Association, told a breakfast meeting of Nevada Business Connections at the Gold Dust West on Wednesday.
Details of Google’s plans aren’t clear, but Bacon said if the technology company gets a similar tax incentive deal as Tesla that would mean the company would be required to hire 50 percent of its workers in Nevada. And Google could employ 10,000 workers over 10 years, said Bacon, putting more pressure on the area’s workforce.
Bacon gave an update on legislative action, including Assembly Bill 331, a bill that died last week but that could be revived in part later in the legislative session.
The bill would have created a system of community colleges separate from Nevada’s two large universities.
Community colleges as well as Western Nevada College often work closely with local employers and provide workforce training.
“Right now colleges have to go to the Board of Regents and it can take six months to get a new program going,” said Bacon.
No action was taken on the bill, but Bacon thinks one portion of it that would create a separate board to ensure that community college courses receive credit at the universities may make it into other legislation.
“It’s critical from a workforce standpoint,” said Bacon. “You can’t ask employers to spend the money to educate their employees.”
Speaking with Bacon was Jack Brower, Bill Fergus and Harry Niwranski discussing Douglas County industrial development.
Brower, senior adviser, Sperry Van Ness-Gold Dust Commercial Associates, said Public Restroom Co. and Starbucks will soon both be expanding in Minden and he’s developing four large industrial buildings with 32-foot clearance there.