Attracting New Workforce to Southern Nevada

High value companies need a highly educated workforce to thrive, so the LVGEA has made attracting a young, tech savvy workforce one of its top priorities.





Partnering with Workforce Development

Increasingly, all over the country, economic development agencies and workforce development entities are combining forces and working together to build the workforce necessary for the 21st century global economy. In Southern Nevada, LVGEA works closely with the state and federal agencies in charge of workforce development to ensure that economic development clients find the workforce competitive firms need to thrive.

The LVGEA and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation

In Nevada, state workforce development efforts are led by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR) and the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board (GWIB). DETR and GWIB have aligned their workforce development efforts to focus on the industry clusters targeted by economic development and enlists the help of LVGEA’s economic development experts to help them hone their workforce development programs.   LVGEA staff members serve on seven industry-specific Workforce Sector Councils, and help to shape workforce development programs and policy.

The LVGEA and Workforce Connections

Federal workforce development efforts are governed by the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA). That act mandates cooperation between local workforce investment boards and local economic development agencies. In Southern Nevada, Workforce Connections is the Southern Nevada workforce investment board, and the LVGEA works with them to ensure that economic development clients have the workforce they need to be competitive in the global economy.

Assisting in Talent Attraction

The LVGEA realizes that higher education and workforce development infrastructure cannot solve all workforce needs. At times, a region must “import” the talent that it needs to make its local firms competitive. That’s why LVGEA focuses broadly on talent attraction, making the region desirable for a skilled workforce to live, work, and play.

Advocating for “Third Places” for Millennials

Coined by noted urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, a “third place” is a place where lifestyle experiences happen, where people can congregate, make social connections, and feel a sense of community. Volumes of market research has shown that, more than any other generation before them, Millennials are motivated to relocate to particular places not just for right type of job, but for the right community and lifestyle experience.  In short, coffee shops, transit stops, public parks, and restaurants are essential to community, workforce, and economic development. Through marketing and public policy initiatives, the LVGEA is working to attract Millennials to Southern Nevada by promoting Southern Nevada’s “third places.”   The LVGEA advocates for transit options that will give this multimodal generation the types of transportation experiences it is demanding, and it supports the efforts of organizations like the Downtown Project, who have made the creation of “third places” one of their top priorities.

Recruiting Researchers into Economic Development

The LVGEA recognizes that the most successful metropolitan economies are built on a foundation of innovation and research. To that end, the LVGEA works with regional higher education institutions to make applied research and technology transfer top priorities.

Using Business Expertise to Evaluate New Technologies

Large research universities, like the University of Nevada Las Vegas, develop dozens of new patents and technologies each year. Some of those technologies are commercially viable; others are not. To maximize the potential of new technologies, the LVGEA and its investors partner with the UNLV Tech Transfer program to provide business expertise to university faculty.

Fostering the Burgeoning Water Industry

In partnership with the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and a number of other community partners, the LVGEA helped to launch the Water Center of Excellence. A unique partnership in the industry, the Water Center of Excellence seeks to be the world leader in water technology, research, and commercialization.

Supporting Research Aligned with Southern Nevada’s Economic Development Priorities

The LVGEA is an integral partner to a number of initiatives housed at area higher education institutions that further the region’s economic development priorities. The LVGEA is a key supporter of the Center for Personalized Medicine at UNLV, a program that uses big-data analytics to develop commercializable technologies for the health care sector. The LVGEA is also a key supporter of the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, an effort led by the Nevada System of Higher Education that develops research and policy around autonomous and unmanned aerial systems in Nevada.