GOED Lays Out Economic Development Strategy for Nevada’s Future
Written and submitted by Tom Burns, Executive Director of the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development
As a recent appointee by Governor Joe Lombardo to lead the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, I’m excited about the changing economy in the Greater Vegas region. As someone who has spent most of my life in Southern Nevada, I’m equally excited to sit on the LVGEA50 Board of Directors.
As a newly minted cabinet member, it’s important to echo Governor Lombardo’s message that a top priority of his administration will be to restore Nevada’s reputation as a pro-business, pro-development state. We have our work cut out for us. At the height of the pandemic, Southern Nevada’s unemployment rate spiked to 31.1% and our current hospitality and leisure sector in the state is still down 19,000 jobs. The good news is that jobs are being created and overall, Nevada has more than 26,400 more jobs than we had prior to the start of the pandemic.
Good things are happening here in Greater Vegas and throughout the state and I’m excited about the opportunity to ensure, in the Governor’s words, that Nevada is back open for business, effective immediately.
Working with SRI International, GOED has completed its first comprehensive economic development strategy since the agency’s inception in 2011. The plan entitled “Realizing Nevada’s Electric, Innovative, and Connected Future” lays out Nevada’s pathway to advancing five target industries over the next five years. Nevada is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in the complete cycle of clean energy innovation. The target industries we have identified for Nevada include:
- Information Technology
- Transportation & Logistics
- Natural Resources & Technologies
- Hospitality, Tourism, Sports, & Creative Industries
- Advanced Manufacturing
Our updated strategic plan builds on the success of GOED over the past decade and helps us expand the opportunities the state has going into the future. “Realizing Nevada’s Electric, Innovative, and Connected Future” is an exciting blueprint that is included in our 2022 annual report to help us attract quality companies that will not only create good jobs but generate additional tax revenue.
Since January of 2022, GOED has approved $169.8 million in abatements for 23 companies. Within two years these companies will add 2,381 jobs at a $30.94 average hourly wage to our state’s economy and make $2.1 billion in capital investment. Over the next 10 years we expect these companies to generate more than $601 million in new net tax revenues for our state. We calculated that the return on investment of these abatements to be $128.25 for every $1 abated. In addition to these impressive statistics, GOED recognizes its responsibility to Nevada taxpayers and conducts its abatements program in public. In 2022, GOED’s website was ranked as the most transparent of all state economic development websites in the nation by watchdog group Good Jobs First.
One of the exciting programs we are kicking off this year is Nevada’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) which will receive more than $112 million in support from the U.S. Treasury. We launched the first-ever nationally ranked small business and startup accelerator to operate in Nevada. Operated by gener8tor, the accelerators have already identified five companies in both Las Vegas and Reno and received $100,000 in investments from a venture fund. We partnered with the Attorney General’s Office to create a Nevada Community Development Financial Institution to assist minority owned businesses in Greater Vegas. GOED was also instrumental in the groundbreaking of the Helios Health and Wellness Campus in North Las Vegas.
GOED will continue to ensure that the Greater Vegas region is addressing its critical infrastructure needs. As Nevada’s economy continues to expand and the state’s population increases, addressing the state’s infrastructure needs is essential to long-term sustainability and resiliency.