City planner new economic development manager
All this business of recruiting business to Carson City takes a lot of time, especially in the last year.
So much so that former Carson City Principle Planner Rob Joiner recently switched jobs to become the city’s first economic development manager.
“It’s a very timely position,” Joiner said. “Things are happening very fast and we need to be in the front of it.”
Joiner said Carson City is in a position where businesses — large and small — are looking to relocate in the capital. Although some argue business development should be left to the private sector, Joiner said because the city provides services, “we are (involved) whether we want to be or not.”
The position will allow the city to plan for economic development instead of simply react to opportunities, he said.
City Manger John Berkich said, in the last year especially, “an exorbitant amount of my time has been taken in these activities.
“Because of the growth in the region, to have a resource such as Rob is needed,” he said.
Joiner’s job is to “to do whatever is necessary and needed to promote Carson City and diversify the economy to continue to make Carson City the commercial center of the region,” Berkich said.
Joiner puts it a bit more simply: he wants to make the decision to move to the capital easier for businesses that are a good fit for the community. That includes working with other groups promoting development such as the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Nevada Development District. Right now, he’s working on an inventory of undeveloped land, underdeveloped land and available space in the community.
It looks like the job of a commercial real estate agent, but Joiner said sometimes, businesses prefer the anonymity working with government can offer. Putting business immediately in touch with both the appropriate private and governmental entities will be a huge portion of his job.
Joiner will continue his role as the city’s redevelopment director, and will continue to promote an improved downtown.
He is in charge of not only economic development and redevelopment, but the administration of the city’s community development block grants. The city is on the road to becoming a federal entitlement community, which will allow the city access to more than $400,000 in funds to use to help low and moderate income residents.
Joiner, a native of Reno, has worked for the city for 17 years. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis in urban geography, and is a thesis short of a masters degree in public administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.
City supervisors provided $123,000 for the position in March, noting it may be a one-year experiment. Berkich proposed the position in a year where the city had little money for new positions. The money for the position was cobbled from various city funds.