Any news about jobs arriving in southern Nevada is always welcome, and no more true than it is today as our economy continues to recover amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, I couldn’t be happier with the latest economic development news involving more than a dozen companies bringing thousands of new jobs to an economy that certainly needs them.
The Las Vegas World Economic Alliance announced in September that 13 companies would benefit from state tax incentives to locate in southern Nevada or expand their existing operations here. In total, these companies are expected to create more than 2,300 jobs over the next five years, as well as a capital investment of $ 490 million in their first two years of operation. These companies represent a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, logistics and distribution, and video production, among others, helping to diversify and strengthen the economy.
Businesses include examples of the beneficial cycle of investment and success made possible through economic development programs. Autonomous vehicle company Aptiv arrived in southern Nevada in 2018 thanks to economic development incentives. Since then, its local workforce has grown to around 250 as it developed and tested its autonomous vehicle technology in Las Vegas as part of a partnership with ride-sharing company Lyft. After a new partnership with automaker Hyundai, as well as a name change to Motional, the company has received additional support to help it expand its development and testing facilities in Las Vegas as it ramps up the full commercial deployment of its robotaxi service in 2023.
The LVGEA announcement in September would be notable in itself, but it was just the latest positive news for southern Nevada’s economic development efforts, which have been unfolding for a record year despite the pandemic. In the first nine months of the year, LVGEA and its local economic development partners helped 34 companies relocate or expand their operations in Southern Nevada, bringing with them nearly 5,800 jobs combined to over 1 , $ 1 billion in capital investment. Based on the total number of jobs, it’s like opening a new resort on the Las Vegas Strip. For added context, the cumulative numbers for the year are better than the previous two years combined, and the number of new jobs created in 2021 is on track for the best year ever. These are also well-paying jobs, which pay $ 5 more per hour than the state’s average hourly wage.
Economic development programs at the state and local levels have long been a critical part of Nevada’s efforts to diversify and strengthen its economy. The tourism industry is, and will continue to be, the heart of Southern Nevada’s economy. But as we’ve seen over the past decade, tourism can be vulnerable to broader economic downturns, whether triggered by one-generation economic collapses or once-a-century global pandemics.
Adding diversity to the fabric of our economy helps soften the shock when a downturn inevitably hits. A good example is the transportation and warehousing industry of southern Nevada, which has been growing for years thanks to the growing popularity of online shopping and the need for logistics and distribution centers for order fulfillment. . When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, much of the economy shut down, but the transportation and warehousing industry flourished as online sales increased. In fact, the industry is one of the few that has created jobs since the start of the pandemic. These gains were made possible in part by previous economic development efforts to help online retailers such as Amazon, Fanatics, and The Honest Company grow their businesses in southern Nevada.
Business relocation and expansion will no doubt benefit our community for years to come, and we should celebrate the economic development professionals who have worked diligently to help them get here. We should also be proud of our community and that even during its most difficult economic times, Southern Nevada remains a sought-after destination, not only for visitors but also for businesses looking for new opportunities to innovate, grow. develop and prosper.
Members of the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial and press team were not involved in the creation of this content.