Expansive economic study unveiled
Appeal Staff Writer
Economic officials want to make the quality of life in Northern Nevada so superb that young professionals will want to move or stay here, as well as bring their businesses here and create jobs for those who graduate from local schools and the university.
Northern Nevada Development Authority and Western Nevada Development District officials announced Wednesday plans for a $150,000, expansive economic development study that will touch seven counties and require the participation of residents.
Some who attended the kick-off event at Western Nevada Community College said this study represents one of the first public-private partnerships for economic improvements ever taken on by so many counties.
“I think they have finally gotten everybody together who needs to be together,” said Kathy Dow, a director for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. “They’ve gotten the public-private partnership emphasis and I haven’t seen that happen much in economic studies.”
Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt said the study, called Northern NVision, will give practical application for economic prosperity and diversification. AngelouEconomics was hired to conduct the study.
“Any time we can pool assets, we have potential to increase our return exponentially,” she said about the funding for the study. “With the assets of seven counties and four cities, and a region-wide plan for economic development, I would say that our Northern NVision is 20/20.”
Over an eight-month period, AngelouEconomics will lead focus groups in each county with business executives, city and county staff, elected officials, industry leaders and residents to determine the marketable assets of the region and each county.
Angelos Angelou, principal of the economic group, said about 41 percent of the national personal income is found in those aged 25-44. That makes the age group an essential demographic to attract.
“It’s a lot easier to convince young graduates to stay here, than have to recruit them from other places,” he said to the group of 56 local officials and professionals.
Christina Slade, a business service consultant with Nevada JobConnect in Carson City, said this project will be an opportunity for parents to get involved in the future of their children.
Without an education base, these kids are not going to be able to have a good-paying job to build a future on,” she said.
Angelou said 60 percent to 70 percent of new jobs are created from within a community, which means an entrepreneurial spirit must be fostered. Jobs must match higher education offered locally. If jobs aren’t offered that will keep young professionals in the area, then they will leave the state and seek opportunity elsewhere.
“It is our purpose with this program to help you define and develop an economic vision for the region and for each one of the counties in this region,” he said.
On the web
Residents are invited to take the online survey at http://www.northernNVision.org.
— Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
Counties that will be the focus of Northern NVision:
For the region and each county, the study will:
• Define competitive strengths and assets
• Identify appropriate industry
• Identify region and county visions
• Give an action plan to follow to facilitate economic growth and to make that vision a reality