Southern Nevada Regional Growth Cluster Submits Build Back Better Grant Application

UPDATE (May 11, 2022):

The federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently informed the Southern Nevada Regional Growth Cluster, led by the LVGEA, that the average Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant award would most likely be less than the $80M requested, and asked for an updated proposal that would potentially reduce the region’s request to $50M.

To meet the EDA’s updated criteria, the regional coalition worked together to reduce the number of proposed projects from eight to four, increased the matching funding from local organizations, and found ways to reduce anticipated expenses. These changes decreased the region’s funding request from $79.4M to $45.9M.

“This was not an easy process. Everyone had to give up something so we could remain competitive for this grant,” said Betsy Fretwell, LVGEA50 Board Chairwoman. “This is a watershed moment for this region. Each member of our coalition acted collaboratively and gave up important projects to ensure the region advances overall.”

As part of the downsizing plan, the City of Mesquite and Clark County agreed to eliminate their requests and will seek other funding sources for their projects. Additionally, the City of Henderson and College of Southern Nevada will join forces on their projects, as will the City of Las Vegas and UNLV.

“This process has shown the level of regional collaboration in Southern Nevada,” said Jared Smith, LVGEA Chief Operating Officer. “It also shows that this community knows how to pull together to get big projects accomplished.”

The EDA is expected to announce the BBB grant winners as early as this summer.

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The Southern Nevada Regional Growth Cluster, led by the LVGEA, recently hit ‘submit’ on its $80M application for the Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

The coalition, which was named one of 60 finalists nationwide in December 2021, is competing for a portion of a $1B grant offered through the federal Economic Development Administration to boost recovery and investment in communities around the country.

We’d like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all our regional partners in this effort, as this was truly a team effort! Continue reading below to learn more about the important role each of our partners played.

Municipal Partners

City of Mesquite
To recruit manufacturing businesses to the Southern Nevada region, we need to have ‘shovel-ready’ land available for use. The City of Mesquite’s portion of the grant requests funds to grade approximately 100 acres of land adjacent to the Mesquite Technology & Commerce Center, creating those large ‘shovel-ready’ sites for Advanced Manufacturing companies.

City of Las Vegas
The region has seen an uptick in autonomous vehicle and smart technology innovation companies locating her over the past decade. The City of Las Vegas’ portion of the grant requests funds for the SMART Program, a regional startup initiative that will provide support services for high-growth advanced manufacturing industries. Funding would allow for the expansion of resources to grow startup companies in the smart mobility industry and build infrastructure to support the full deployment of autonomous vehicles in the region.

City of Henderson
The City of Henderson’s grant proposal focuses on completing phase 2 of its Center for Excellence, a manufacturing training center located in west Henderson that will be leased by the College of Southern Nevada for its advanced manufacturing training program. The project, which broke ground in January 2022, will help increase the number of trained manufacturing workers in the region.

City of North Las Vegas
The City of North Las Vegas is focusing on growing the region’s general and advanced manufacturing sector. Their proposal would expand water lines to the Apex Industrial Park, located in the northeast part of the city. The additional water lines would open 2,500+ acres for much-needed industrial development in the region.

Clark County
Clark County is working to grow the amount of available land for development in the region. Their grant proposal includes funding to conduct a formal land study and development plan for the Sloan Industrial and Manufacturing Park, located just south of the city. The industrial park would be focused on general and advanced manufacturing and allow for 11,000 new jobs and an estimated $5B in economic impact in the first 6 years.

UNLV
UNLV’s grant proposal furthers the amount of medical research being conducted in Southern Nevada. They’re hoping to create the UNLV Biomedical Advanced Manufacturing Building, to be located adjacent to the Harry Reid Technology Park, with the facilities being utilized to support biomedical research.

College of Southern Nevada
As one of the region’s main educational institutions, CSN is seeking funding to renovate and retrofit classrooms and infrastructure at its Henderson campus. This would allow them to teach credit and non-credit students machining or automation skills needed for jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector.

Community Partners

Workforce Connections
As Southern Nevada’s Local Workforce Development Board, Workforce Connections convened all the various grant opportunities across the region for streamlined coordination. The organization also participated in the proposal evaluation process to select the final projects submitted as part of the grant, and shared support letters from the Good Jobs Challenge.

Latin ChamberAsian ChamberUrban Chamber of Commerce
The three local chambers of commerce led independent community discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to the region’s grant application. Each of the three chambers provided feedback from those discussions, resulting in a DEI report included in the grant application.

Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development
At the state level, GOED was involved with the region’s grant application from the beginning, with Executive Director Michael Brown and Deputy Director Kris Sanchez serving on the Steering Committee. And Strategic Programs Advisor Erin Hasty provided data, materials, and research to highlight the power and impact diversifying the economy of Southern Nevada would have on the state.

Nevada GrantLab
Nevada GrantLab supports nonprofit organizations and government partners in accessing and administering federal grants that benefit Nevadans. They provided valuable guidance, insight, and funding and supported the coalition in various other ways.

Applied Analysis
Applied Analysis is a leading business advisory services firm located in Las Vegas. They provided invaluable assistance during the grant application process by conducting market research and analysis, providing current data and future projections, and assisting with the grant review process.

Strategic Progress
Strategic Progress, a Nevada based grant writing, research, and project management consulting firm, led the grant development, writing and editing efforts for the Build Back Better grant narratives.  They also supported the project with project management, design of the evaluation plan and technical support to partners.

M.Y.S. Consulting
M.Y.S Consulting and Myisha Boyce served as the lead for the BBB Regional Challenge Equity Plan.  They provided input on grant narratives and led efforts to summarize outcomes from the Tri-Chambers’ outreach activity.  Direct feedback from more than 100 Nevadans representing disadvantaged communities informed recommendations for how Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be integrated into grant-funded projects, ensuring all Nevadans will benefit from the regional initiative, both immediately and for the long-term.

Letters of Support

In addition to the above municipal and community partners, more than 50 organizations wrote and submitted a letter of support to be included in our grant application.  You can find a full list of those organizations HERE.

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