Gov. Brian Sandoval said he wants to create 50,000 jobs by 2014, a challenge he issued Tuesday in unveiling a statewide economic development strategy that focuses on regionalizing development efforts and broader marketing of Nevada's business attributes.
The plan is "a blueprint for building a vibrant, sustainable economy for all Nevadans," Sandoval said at a news conference at the University of Nevada, Reno. "It puts us in a better position to succeed in the hyper-competitive push to champion a strong economy that creates good jobs."
term Republican governor to overhaul the state's economic
It comes as Nevada continues to lead the nation in unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures.
Nevada's jobless rate fell to 12.6 percent in December - down from a record 14.9 percent a year
earlier - but 166,000 remained out of work.
The law, which had bipartisan support, elevates the state's economic development director to a cabinet level position and provides for a coordinated approach with regional agencies. It also
provided for a $10 million "catalyst fund" to create economic growth.
The plan sets out goals for the next three years and a framework to coordinate efforts between government agencies, the private sector and education systems.
"We have one of the most attractive business climates in the United States," Sandoval said. "It's up to us to capitalize on that fact."
To that end, the plan calls for the Governor's Office of Economic Development to focus on "branding and communicating" Nevada's economic advantage.
The office, led by Economic Development Director Steve Hill, "will strive to ensure that the state's regulatory environment does not inappropriately hamper business or impede job creation," the document said, and a working group will be formed to "provide advice about proposed laws and existing regulations."
By July 1, the office also intends to hire at least five industry specific specialists to help regional development agencies better target their efforts.
Past economic development strategies have focused primarily on convincing out-of-state businesses to relocate to Nevada, a strategy that typically generates less than 5 percent to 7 percent of job creation, Hill said.
The other 95 percent comes from helping existing business to grow and new businesses to start, he said.
"We are asking these new regional development authorities to take on that responsibility in the regions," Hill said.
The plan follows a report release last fall that highlighted Nevada's strengths and key industries, but also pointed out familiar weaknesses, such as an underperforming education system and a narrow and volatile economic base susceptible to extreme boom-or-bust cycles.
That report also identified core industries as having "plausible potential" for economic growth and diversification: tourism, health and medical services, business information technology, clean energy, mining and manufacturing, logistics, and aerospace and defense.
Source: KOLO-TV., Reno