Work Together or Fall Behind by Ed Lawson

It was a simple map, showing in the simplest terms the changing realities of the Nevada economy. In the center was the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, the nation’s largest industrial and technology center. A circle representing a 50 mile radius was drawn around the site. Within that circle there were more than 40 governmental entities of different sizes and missions…and untold number of businesses and industries.

It hammered home a simple message: work together or we fall behind.

Economic development is the process of growing the overall economy, including job creation, new business recruitment, and growing existing businesses. It must include group activities and a multitude of contributing factors such as leadership, quality education, workforce development and recruitment, housing, public investment, government support and community buy-in.

With so many factors, so many moving parts, working within your “silo” just doesn’t work. Especially when we look at the scale of our latest business relocations and start-up endeavors.

As chairman of the Western Nevada Development District (WNDD) Board of Directors, it has become obvious that collaboration is the key to our future success. The WNDD is the sole planning district recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce and is comprised of the nine counties of western Nevada from Humboldt County in the north to Mineral County. We are built on collaboration.

Government is just one small aspect of the breeding ground for a new economy. That new breeding ground will be on display at the upcoming Building a Stronger Nevada Economic Conference set for Sept. 20-22 at the University of Nevada, Reno, Joe Crowley Student Union.
It is a boldly diverse conference as the 28-member planning committee and the state’s two universities have tried to create the new map for economic development based on seven categories:
• Agribusiness
• Business/Entrepreneurship
• Economic Development/Vitality
• Energy
• Manufacturing
• Transportation/Infrastructure
• Workforce Development

We will have key note speakers from Tesla and others talking about the secrets to successful collaboration between rural and urban communities.

The obvious question is who should attend. I would say everyone in business or wanting to do business in Nevada, but some of these people may be you: People who ride bikes. People who have to hire other people. People who are thinking about energy and its future in Nevada. People who are starting a new business, or want to re-energize their current business. People who want their art to be a career. People who want to “bump into” their next business collaborator. People looking ahead with farming challenges, opportunities and innovations occurring to strengthen the agricultural industry.

And, if your a fledgling entrepreneur who wants to break through the white noise of starting a new business enterprise that takes advantage of our new Nevada economy. I should definitely see you there.

To get the full story on the Building a Stronger Nevada Conference and to register, visit: Registration.

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